warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Florida Latino Voters: 'We Don't Think The Government Represents Us'

Christina Detz |
October 9, 2012 | 1:11 p.m. PDT



This piece is part of an Annenberg News 21 collaboration with The Guardian examining the Latino vote in the 2012 presidential election. 

Almost a third of the state's Hispanic voters say they have no party preference. (Christine Detz/News21)
Almost a third of the state's Hispanic voters say they have no party preference. (Christine Detz/News21)
Poinciana sits in the heart of the vote-rich Interstate-4 corridor where the battle for Florida—and quite possibly the White House itself—will soon be fought. This is the ultimate swing region, in the ultimate swing state, with Latino voters holding their fingers on the scale.

"The I-4 corridor generally is divided; whichever party can capture the voters generally does well," explains David Colburn, director of the Reubin O'D. Askew Institute on Politics and Society at the University of Florida. "The southeastern part of the state typically votes Democrat, the northern part and significantly the southwest vote Republican."

Poinciana is a bedroom community of 54,000 residents 20 minutes outside Orlando that started out as a retirement development 40 years ago. But the population here is no longer dominated by older, white retirees. Poinciana went from 65 percent white in 2000 to 51 percent Hispanic in 2010. Puerto Ricans make up almost 70 percent of the community's Hispanic population with small numbers of Dominicans, Mexicans and Cubans mixed in. These are the voters who could swing the state—if, that is, they show up to the polls.

While Barack Obama can win a second term without a Florida victory, many analysts see no viable path to the White House for Republican challenger Mitt Romney if he loses the Sunshine State. Voters in Puerto Rico tend to favor Democratic candidates over Republican ones, and registration statistics in central Florida reflect this preference.

However, almost a third of Hispanic voters here have no political party preference. It is these voters that Obama and Romney need to woo.

Read the full story here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.