For months, Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio has sat atop pundits’ vice presidential lists, and the Republican primary here on January 31 once again places the Florida Hispanic population at the forefront of our political landscape. This demographic will come into even greater focus as it presents the first real test of Latino voters for candidates in a fierce battle to attract them in November.
Florida’s many diverse demographics make it a microcosm of the U.S. melting pot, but politicians understand that Cuban-Americans, in particular, hold significant influence over the entire Latino community in this country, and directly impact the outcome of elections in Florida. This crucial swing state is home to the third-largest Latino population in the country – more than 4.2 million people. One-third of eligible Hispanic voters here are Cuban.
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Editor’s Note: Mike Valdés-Fauli is President of JeffreyGroup, the largest independent communications firm focusing on Latin audiences. He has been a media commentator on Hispanic issues for CNN en Español, AdWeek, PR Week, the Miami Herald. Mike was named one of PR Week magazine’s 40 Under 40. He lives in Miami with his wife and son