A new Telemundo/NBC News/WSJ national poll of Latinos finds that Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is relatively popular but not as popular as Hillary Clinton. 23 percent of Latinos view Marco Rubio favorably, while 12 percent view him negatively. 40 percent have no view of him or indicate that they don’t know him. This comes after Rubio has been positioned in the Senate Gang of Eight, which is tasked with crafting the immigration reform bill and after he took on a more visible role in the Republican Party, delivering the GOP response to the President’s State of Union address.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is viewed positively by 65 percent of Latinos, while only 13 percent view her negatively. Should Marco Rubio decide to run for president in 2016 and if Clinton is a candidate, these numbers could be problematic for the Republican Senator from Florida in reaching the growing Latino electorate.
Despite his conservative positions, Rubio is in a position to improve his standing with Latinos because of his role in the immigration reform process. A recent Latino Decisions poll shows immigration is a top issue for Latino voters and that 44 percent of Latino voters would be more likely to vote for Republicans if they perceived the GOP to be taking on a larger role in passing immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.