Navarro: Latino Make or Break in Florida

Navarro: Latino Make or Break in Florida


Waiting for Florida primary results, Politic365 talks with Ana Navarro.

On the day of the Florida Republican primary for president, Politic365 talks with Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist based in the Sunshine State, about the critical role Latino voters will play in the election.  Navarro was also Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) National Hispanic Co-Chair in the 2008 Presidential campaign and recently a former Gov. Jon Huntsman’s (R-UT) Co-Chair in the 2012 GOP primary.  You can follower her at

Polls show that Latino voters should come out in solid numbers to determine who the next Republican nominee will be in 2012, with the candidates placing heavy emphasis on issues typically seen as important to Hispanics.

“The Hispanic vote can make or break a Republican primary in Florida.  It’s 11 ½ % of the registered Republicans in Florida and usually Hispanics come out and vote in heavy numbers, so you should expect to see 12 to 14% of that turnout being the Hispanic vote,” says Navarro.  “And actually it’s played a very large role so far – for the first time in this primary campaign you’ve seen an intense debate over issues like immigration, like Latin America, for the first time you’re hearing words like Venezuela and Nicaragua being mentioned.”

“Florida is so important because it has a diversity that we haven’t seen in other primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

Listen to the full interview here:


  1. Perhaps Ana Navarro or other GOP Latino outreach experts would like to give an HONEST opinion on a couple of important items affecting Latinos:
    * The booing of Mexico/Mexians that occured in the South Carlina debates
    * English as the official language legislation being pushed by the GOP
    * Republicans insisting on not having ballots translated into Spanish in the Florida primaries

    • Funny thing is that many Hispanics also agree with "English only" policies and often are insulted by the insistence on having everything translated. When the vast majority of Hispanics are born and raised here, the need is probably not as strong as most of us assume. To prove my point, while viewing the Florida debate last Thursday, the all-Hispanic audience at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Miami cheered vigorously when candidates discussed their support for English as official language legislation. It's my experience that Whites and Blacks tend to think we need it more than Hispanics themselves want it. As far as the booing in SC, clearly they weren't booing people as it seems you are implying. Don't twist the context.

      • Justin, thanks for the comment. We don't seem to agree on these points. I've spent my entire 39 years in New England and I've observed many Hispanics asking for translated material or seen many that were afraid to ask/demand for it, even though they are Puerto Rican/American citizens. As to twisting the context, I leave that to my Republican friends. I've seen the debates and seen Juan Williams raise the topic of his family in Mexico. I was perplexed and many still are. I take it as booing Mexico but am happy to hear otherwise. What I'm disapointed about is the lack of hard questions from the Hispanic community. Such as, if you support statehood for PR, would you be in support of an Engilsh only requirement for Puerto Rico? That would have been much more tell tale to me.

  2. I've never understood why the Republicans, with the exception of the last election, have always had such a strong hold on the Latino vote when so many of their policies go against them. 11.5% of the registered Republicans in Florida? Amazing!! As evidenced by Ms. Navarro's twitter account, she's having doubts about her Republican options as well. Is President Obama that bad? Great interview, Charles.

    • Peace, Malik. Appreciate that.

      Lot of it has to do more with the Latino electorate exercising shrewd political maneuvering than with GOP outreach being effective. Latinos, unlike most African Americans, have recognized the advantages in maintaining linkages in both parties rather than keeping your eggs all lopsided in just one. It doesn't mean you believe in the party; it just means you use it as a tool for specific objectives.

      It's not a perfect set-up, by no means. But it allows them the opportunity to keep an eye on both sides of the aisle. It's smart politics, and Latino politicos are becoming more skilled at it. In the event Republicans take over, they are in a better leveraging position than African Americans; and, when Democrats take over, they've got that side covered, too. Hence, the reason why the GOP has all but dropped official Black outreach activities.


  3. It's great to have insights into what the GOP is thinking with regards to Latino/Hispanic communities. They will need to continue to understand where we are coming from and what we need if they want to secure our vote.