May 27, 2002

BECOMING THE MAJORITY PARTY :

In poll, Central Florida's Hispanics favor Gov. Bush (Mark Silva, May 27, 2002, Orlando Sentinel)
Gov. Jeb Bush holds an advantage over Democratic rivals among Hispanic voters in Central Florida, according to his campaign's polling of the region crucial to his re-election.

This could provide an important re-election base for Bush, who already enjoys overwhelming support among the Republican-rich Cuban-American community of South Florida.

Both state and national Republican parties are attempting to build that base, with political analysts reading gains for the GOP in the U.S. Justice Department's move to make polling places more accessible for Spanish-speaking voters in Orange and Osceola counties.

The Bush campaign's survey in the critical "Interstate 4 corridor" of Central Florida focused for the first time on Hispanics not of Cuban origin. The Democratic Party was more popular than the GOP among those surveyed, yet most thought Bush is "a different" kind of Republican.

"These voters are critical in a very swing area of the state," said Neil Newhouse, a Virginia-based Bush-campaign pollster. Bush "has a personal appeal among Hispanics that seems to overcome traditional partisan anchors. He seems to connect much better with these voters than the average Republican."

Bush's own popularity -- 60 percent of Hispanics surveyed approve of the job he is doing -- is one factor in his apparent lead among these voters.


Now the GOP has to aggressively recruit Latinos to run for office. You can't depend on the Bush brothers' unique relationship with Hispanic
Americans to carry you forever. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 27, 2002 9:07 AM
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