01/12/2019

How Rick Scott Got 48% Of The Hispanic Vote

Selena Zito, Washington Examiner

Nine years ago Rick Scott, then a Florida businessman, sat down with a group of self-described jaded Republican strategists to discuss what it would take for him to run for governor.

“You are not going to get anywhere with Hispanic voters, but we’ll try,” said Wes Anderson, founding partner and pollster for OnMessage Inc. (where my co-author Brad Todd works), who was explaining what voters were available to a Republican to win.

“Rick Scott looked at us and just shook his head. He said, ‘I reject your dismissal of Hispanic voters. We are going to pursue them, and we're gonna pursue them hard,’” explained Anderson.

“He flat-out rejected that there was this big chunk voters that you can just write off and you're never gonna get,” Anderson said.

It is a rejection every Republican candidate running for office should emulate.

Scott, who won by about 1/10 of a percentage point over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, did so despite suffering the same poor performance among suburban voters all Republicans did. He made up for that shortfall with his healthy support among Hispanic voters for his win.

Scott won 48 percent of the Hispanic vote, just about the same portion he won in his two gubernatorial victories.

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