While Romney has publicly said that he hasn’t made up his mind, I’m told by a person who has knowledge of the process and whom I’ve trusted as a source in the past that a decision was reached this week to select Senator Marco Rubio for his VP. You’ll know that I went on record predicting this last month. Former two-term governor of Florida Jeb Bush, who is extremely popular with hispanics in Florida has heavily urged Romney to pick Rubio.
I’m trying to verify the information with the local Romney team, but haven’t gotten anything back. This is an excellent pick. Romney simply must win a sizable slice of the hispanic vote, especially in Florida. The Weekly Standard breaks down the importance.
“On April 15, Romney attended a private fundraiser in the backyard of a large home in Palm Beach, Florida. His remarks, not intended for public consumption, were nonetheless overheard by reporters traveling with him. And they were blunt. “We have to get Hispanics to vote for our party,” he said. Romney pointed to polls showing him trailing badly among Hispanic voters and said that if those numbers don’t change, “it spells doom for us.”
Those numbers haven’t changed. An NBC/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released in late July shows Obama with a 67-23 percent advantage over Romney among Hispanics. Last week, a Latino Decisions poll had Obama leading Romney 63-27 percent among Hispanics in five swing states with significant Hispanic populations—Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia.
That’s worrisome. But the core of the problem is Florida—a must-win state for Romney. According to Latino Decisions, Romney trails Obama among Latino Floridians 53-37. (Even more, among voters who say they’re “certain” to vote for their candidate, Obama leads 49-29.) This kind of margin might well doom Romney.
In 2010, by contrast, Marco Rubio won 55 percent of Florida Hispanics. Rick Scott, who was probably helped by having Rubio running with him, won 50 percent of the state’s Hispanic voters in his successful bid to become governor. Even in 2008, while losing Florida 51-48, John McCain won 42 percent of the Hispanic vote. In 2004, George W. Bush defeated John Kerry among Hispanics in Florida by 56-44 percent. (Those numbers were no doubt inflated because Bush’s brother Jeb was the popular governor at the time.)
The bottom line: Mitt Romney almost certainly will not win Florida if he wins just 37 percent of the Hispanic vote there. And Mitt Romney almost certainly will not be president if he doesn’t win Florida.”
It’s Rubio. A good choice.
The Commander in Chief at Work!
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