GOP: Iowa Caucus Is a Big Win for Latino Candidates
In an effort to score points with a key electoral demographic, Republican leaders underlined this week that more than half of GOP caucus-goers voted for a Hispanic candidate in the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses.
With Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio taking first and third place in the Hawkeye State, respectively, some 50.7 percent of Iowa Republicans backed a candidate with Cuban heritage. Cruz had won the race with 27.6 percent support, while Rubio (23.1 percent) slightly trailed national front-runner Donald Trump (24.3 percent).
Latino activist: Result is 'bittersweet' for community
Joe Enriquez Henry, of the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, told KCCI that Latinos would likely take note of the result which, to a certain extent, helps to relativize Trump's frequently controversial comments that have often been seen as anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant in general.
"(It is) very interesting because on the Republican side, the hate rhetoric has been against Latinos," he told the Des Moines CBS affiliate. "But yet we had Latinos supported last night, so it is bittersweet."
RNC chair slams media for lack of coverage
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Reince Priebus, meanwhile, celebrated the result in an interview with Fox News.
"Ted Cruz (was the) first Hispanic out of Iowa from a major political party" to win the caucuses, Priebus underlined. "(And with) "Marco Rubio, two out of our top three (were) Hispanic. You know, where is the media on this? This is a big deal."
The great result for Latinos in Iowa, meanwhile, has much to do with Rubio, political analyst Dennis Goldford told KCCI, as Cruz's successful performance had been largely expected.
"To a great extent, caucus night was a vindication of the Rubio strategy of trying to become the main alternative to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz," Goldford explained.
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