Florida Latino Support Divided in US Presidential Election

Brian Padden
In the upcoming U.S. presidential election, national polls indicate Latino-Americans overwhelmingly support President Barack Obama over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Latino support in the key state of Florida, however, is more divided.

Most of the Cuban-Americans playing dominos in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood came to this country as political refugees to escape Fidel Castro's communist regime. As the largest Latino group in Florida, they are a strong political force in the state, and most tend to vote Republican, the party they see as more fiscally conservative and anti-Castro.  

Like the majority of Cuban-Americans, Armando Alba said he strongly supports Mitt Romney for president.   

“I believe he will lift the spirit of the nation and return us to the tradition, to the values of this nation of liberty and democracy. We do not need help or redistribution from anyone,” said Alba.

But a significant minority of Cuban-American voters like Raoul Martinez said they will vote for Obama.
 
“Things were really bad when he took office. It is still bad, but it was much worse before,” said Martinez.

While Romney may be leading among Cuban-Americans statewide, some polls have the president ahead by a small margin among all Latinos in Florida.

That is because the number of non-Cuban Hispanics in Florida has grown significantly.

Jessenia Fernandez, with the non-partisan civic group Florida Immigrant Coalition, works to help new citizens understand their rights and exercise their votes. Fernandez said most of these new Latino voters overwhelmingly support Obama, in part because he endorses the so-called "Dream Act" to legalize the status of several million undocumented youth.

Peruvian-American Juana Sopline de Rojas said immigration reform is the motivating issue for her in this election.  
 
"So that they can get out of this, so that they can study. So that Latinos can study and then after they can get their papers, [their legal status]," said de Rojas.

In trying to get new voters for both parties to the polls, Fernandez says voters who are undecided about whom they support may not vote at all.

“Those are the people who are not that enthusiastic about this election. They are kind of like “iffy" [not sure]. They are [thinking], 'I do not know if I am going to vote for this person or that person.' But if they already have in their minds that they are going to vote, they already know who they are voting for and they are enthusiastic about it,” said Fernandez.

In Florida, the growing number of non-Cuban Latinos help give Democrats an advantage in numbers of registered voters.  But most polls either give Romney a slight edge or say the race is too close to call.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jeff C from: Atlanta
October 30, 2012 12:26 AM
If the Latino Community doesn't understand this, Obama is their worst enemy. Romney wants to trade more with "Latin South America" which means more opportunites for them
In Response

by: Harvey H from: Detroit MI
October 30, 2012 1:50 PM
Hey, Jeff mind your own business, we do not need your ridiculous advice.
In Response

by: ben from: TX
October 30, 2012 11:41 AM
is that before or after latinos have "self-deport" from the country due to the severity of their undocumented status?

hey romney, pick a side. stay with it
In Response

by: elio from: washington dc
October 30, 2012 11:29 AM
how would romney trading with "latin south america" bring more opportunites to latinos here

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs