Are Puerto Ricans Set To Surprise in Florida?

Here's my take on the following article from the Miami Herald. Puerto Rican voters may swing Florida toward the GOP.

Bottom Line: As I’m inclined to point out conventional wisdom is often anything but wise. That’s doubly true when we’re talking politics. You need to look no further than the previous election cycle for all the evidence you’ll ever need. What I find oddest is how many people will continue to go back to the same sources that have been consistently wrong for information. Just this week I’ve highlighted the remarkable outcomes in districts 26 and 27 where Hillary Clinton won the vote by 16 and 20 points in those districts but that Republicans Curbelo and Ros-Lehtinen both won by double-digits.  

Frequently, when I’m questioned by national shows or intentionally as the case may be with BBC World News about how elections are won in Florida, I’ll point to two important points. Number one, the key for Republicans to win statewide races is to “lose well” in South Florida. There’s too much population in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties to get routed and still win. Second, I’m quick to point out that “Hispanic” means about 30 different things here. Many are quick to throw up the “Hispanics” break for Democrats by X nonsense. To truly understand elections in Florida you have to understand what matters most to many constituencies.  

It’s why there can be a 26 to 30 point divergence between candidates in different political parties in certain districts. Up to this story, the narrative had been that if anything Puerto Ricans resettling in Florida after the hurricanes would tip Florida firmly into Democrat territory because nearly 70% of Puerto Ricans voted for Democrats in 2016. Before the final financial collapse of the island in 2016 and prior to the hurricanes striking. A year that neither Governor Scott nor Ron DeSantis were on the ballot statewide.  

I don’t know what the final outcome will be here with Puerto Ricans, however, I do know that the same analysts who were dead wrong in 2016 are peddling the same conventional wisdom that was anything but wise in 2016. 

Photo by: RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images

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