Florida's demographic shift toughens GOP chances

- While three top Florida politicians spoke to the Republican Convention in Cleveland, it has become increasingly clear that the state's 29 electoral votes could determine who's standing on the big stage in January.

"November 8th is a day of reckoning," said Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Consider this: the last Republican to win Florida, George W. Bush, won the state by five points in 2004; with 56 percent support from Latinos.

Eight years later, Barack Obama won the state by a single point, but Latinos supported him 60% to 39%.

Albert Llovio is of Cuban descent. He hasn't voted for a Republican since George W. Bush, who campaigned on a path to citizenship and support of bilingual education.

"I don't think the party is anything right now," he said. "I think it's dead."

A recent national poll of Latinos by NBC-Telemundo shows Clinton leading Trump 76-14.

His approval rating among Latinos stands at only 11%.

Tampa resident Karina Santana-Benchettav has Mexican ancestors and has voted for Republican presidential candidates, but won't this time.

"Who else is he going to go after? He already stated Mexicans, he keeps adding more to his list," she said. "It's sad to say, I do not have a secure future in the United States."

Just since 2012, the left-leaning Center for American Progress projects the Latino electorate to grow from 16.6% to 18.2%.

On the other hand -- the percentage of Florida's white voters, which Romney won 61%-37%, has fallen from 66.7% to 64.5%.

Just tenths of a point of a demographic shift could matter in such a tight state.

Izabelle Stapleton of Tampa is a Latino swing voter who won't support Trump.

"This country was made out of immigrants, and a lot of them have been here for years," she said. "Where are you going to send them to? I'm an immigrant."

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Florida's demographic shift toughens GOP chances
  • Helping America's heroes, one step at a time
  • Rape suspect arrested in two St. Petersburg cold cases
  • Polk detectives look for lotto ticket scammers
  • Tampa police search for skimmer suspect
  • Clearwater police seek help finding missing teen
  • Smart meters could slow power restoration in Lakeland
  • Group does free laundry for Pinellas County families
  • Maria to cause dangerous currents along US coast
  • North Port man killed in I-75 crash