Puerto Rican Population May Influence Florida's Electoral Votes; Does Marco Rubio Have an Advantage?
The 2016 U.S. Presidential race has become even more interesting in Florida with the sudden influx of Puerto Ricans in the state that will quite possibly greatly affect the results of this year's elections.
In fact, these Latin American migrants showed their voting power last week during the Florida GOP primaries where Republican senator Marco Rubio earned an impressive 24,866 votes.
This, however, does not guarantee that the Republican Party will get the highest seat in the White House as Puerto Ricans have been known to be "swing voters," per WBALTV.
Electoral Vote vs. Popular Vote
Reports today depict how Donald Trump has been dominating the GOP primaries while Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz remain at his heels in spite of numerous attacks on the frontrunner's character.
This is the perfect example of the difference between the popular vote and the electoral vote.
"In a presidential election, the popular vote simply means an aggregate of all voters from all states in America," the website Diffen explained.
According to the website, a candidate's "over all popularity" does not guarantee his or her win in the election because of an election institution known as the "electoral college."
The Electoral College is comprised of 538 electors which are assigned to each state, depending on their voting membership in the Congress.
Florida has the second highest number of assigned electors tying with New York at 29, which means whoever wins the state's vote wILL have a great chance of winning the White House.
Puerto Ricans in Florida
Unlike other Latinos, Puerto Ricans who migrated to the United States due to the effects of the worsening debt crisis in their country are automatically considered U.S. citizens.
Because of their citizenship, they already have the right to vote even if they just arrived in the country.
With this in mind, thousands of Puerto Rican migrants who arrive in central Florida each week are gradually gaining significance in the upcoming November elections.
Puerto Ricans as Swing Voters
While they did show some love to some GOP candidates, there is no guarantee that they will win Florida's electoral votes.
The major proof of this is the fact that 83 percent of Puerto Ricans in Florida voted for Barack Obama in 2012 while still supporting Republican candidates running for other positions.
"Puerto Rican voters are swing voters. The majority have been identified as independent. They did vote for Barack Obama in the last election by wide margin, but they have supported Republican candidates," Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles director Alfonso Aguilar explained.
According to Aguilar, Puerto Ricans in Florida put Rubio in the Senate and supported Jeb Bush when he ran for governor, which means they cannot be considered Democratic or Republican supporters all throughout history.
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