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Senator Rick Scott Explains Why Hispanics Are Fleeing the Democratic Party

Rick Scott, El American

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There are several polls and elections that make it clear that the Latino vote is moving towards the Republican Party. This change has astonished Democrats, who for years falsely believed that they had guaranteed the vote of this community. The concern is clear: the Hispanic community is one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups. It currently represents 13% of the electorate, making it a fundamental and decisive vote for the future of the country.

A recent Wall Street Journal poll shows that Hispanics are now evenly split between the two parties. For example, when asked about a potential contest between Trump and Biden in 2024, 44% said they would back Joe Biden and 43% said they would vote for Donald Trump. When asked which party they would support if the midterm elections were held today, 37% of voters said they would support a Republican candidate, another 37% said they would vote for a Democrat, and 22% said they were undecided.

Meanwhile, in an April poll conducted by the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee), 63% of Hispanics said they believe capitalism is the best form of government. Half of those polled said that Democratic policies hurt Hispanic families. 69% are against illegal immigrants having the same right as Americans to welfare checks or unemployment benefits, and 80% believe public schools are failing.

It is clear that although most Spanish-language media are aligned with Democrats and recklessly portray the Republican Party as the enemy of Hispanics, the principles and beliefs of Hispanics in the U.S. are more aligned with the Republican Party.

To discuss what is happening with the Hispanic community, the concerns they have, and what the GOP is doing about it, El American interviewed Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), who was governor of Florida from 2011 to 2019 and who is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

A recent Wall Street Journal poll shows that Hispanic voters are evenly split between the two parties. Why do you think Hispanics are leaving the Democratic Party?

Well, they’ve been leaving the Democratic Party because the Democratic Party doesn’t represent them. I ran in 2010, 2014, and 2018, and I won the Hispanic vote and I won this vote because Hispanics are Republicans. They believe as we do. They believe in faith. They believe in freedom. They believe in family. And so do we. We were we’re like-minded. So it’s happening, and it happened in my race. Republicans are reaching out to Hispanics, they’re winning the Hispanic vote as I did. 

What are the issues that Hispanics worry about, and what is the Republican Party doing about it?

Here’s what we’re doing about it. I’m the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. In all of our polling, we show Republicans how Hispanics are thinking and we show them that Hispanics are on the same page we’re on. That’s one.

Number two, we’re putting a lot of effort into reaching out, as I did. I opened up campaign offices in Hispanic areas and we talked to Hispanics all the time, whether it’s by door knocks or by phone calls, and we’re talking about the issues that are important to them. Hispanics, just like all of us, want jobs; they want their children to have a great education. They want to have a choice in public education and they want to live in safe communities.

Those are the things Republicans care about. And as long as that’s what we’re doing, Hispanics are going to continue to vote for us. That’s what we focus on. We focus on jobs, we focus on a better education system for your children and we focus on public safety.

Perhaps one of the talking points that Democrats repeat the most to Hispanics is that the GOP is racist, and they often use immigration as an example. What are your thoughts on that accusation and on immigration policy?

I’m an example of somebody that stood the dream of this country only because I grew up in this country. I had a shot to do the things I’ve done. I was born to a single mom. We lived in public housing. Republicans believe that it doesn’t matter where you start in life, you have every opportunity. It doesn’t matter the color of your skin. What matters is character. That’s what Republicans do. Democrats try to divide us by race. In this country, we want good for everybody. And that’s what Republicans believe in. In contrast, Democrats try to limit people’s opportunities. 

What do you think will be the impact of the Latino vote in the coming years?

Well, what’s going to happen is that we’re going to get a bigger and bigger slice of the Hispanic vote. I believe we’ll win the Hispanic vote in 2022. I think every Republican focuses because Hispanics and Republicans think alike. We’re going to have a great 2022 and a great 2024.

Florida is a very particular state and it is becoming a refuge for many Americans fleeing from blue states. Tell us about the importance of the Hispanic vote in that state and how Hispanics have made Florida such an outstanding state.

Our first thought is immigration status. We have a significant amount of Hispanics in our state, who add to the success of our state. Hispanics are hard-working. They’re always trying to start and build businesses. They want, wherever they work, to be successful; they want their children to have a great future. Education is important to them. They get involved in public safety because they know communities are important to keep safe. That’s important to every Hispanic family. So I think what’s happening, as you can see, is that for the first time ever, we had more Republican voters than Democrat voters in Florida in the history of the state, and that’s because Hispanics are becoming Republican voters, because they see the Republican Party is good for their future. 

Senator, what do you think is going to happen in next year’s midterm elections?

I think that in the 2022 election, Republicans will take control of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. I think in 2024 we’ll elect a Republican president. So, you know, Donald Trump will make his decision, whether he’s going to run or not. But, you know, the future of our party is going to be whatever our voters want. And I think what voters want is to elect people who care for them. They want everybody to have the opportunity for good job and everybody to have an opportunity for good education. They want everybody to live in a safe community.

Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editor-in-chief of El American. Economist. Podcaster. Political and economic analysis of America. Colombian exile in the United States // Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editora en jefe de El American. Economista. Podcaster. Análisis político y económico de América. Colombiana exiliada en EE. UU.

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