One of the key Senate races this year is the race between Florida Governor Rick Scott and Bill Nelson.
I am not Rick Scott’s biggest fan given his position on gun control, but this race is a matter of interest for me from a technical standpoint. Florida, as most of you already know, is a critical purple state in the general election, and the Puerto Rican vote is an important demographic there after the diaspora that happened last September.
When Maria destroyed the island, many Puerto Ricans emigrated to the US due to the slow pace of the recovery, which was successfully blamed on President Trump despite local government corruption being largely to blame.
At the time, the Puerto Ricans were assumed to be natural Democrats. After all, registration on the island was overwhelmingly Democrat, and “everyone knows” that Puerto Ricans are “Hispanics” and that “Hispanics all vote Democrat.” The Puerto Rican vote was assumed to be an easy, automatic Democrat vote. Plus, the Democrats felt that they’d successfully blamed Trump and the Republicans for the Hurricane.
More than seven in 10 of the 1,000 Puerto Ricans interviewed for the poll commissioned by Florida International University have a bad a very bad opinion of President Trump. By contast, more than 55 percent have a good or very good opinion of Gov. Scott — a whopping 82 percent among those who moved to Florida since 2017 when Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
Scott has repeatedly visited the island since Maria and aggressively courted Puerto Ricans in Florida. He is challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who has been sharply critical of the Trump administration’s response to the disaster.
Nelson is considerably less popular among recent transplants to Florida, with 57 percent having a positive view of the Senator, lower than his Republican colleague, Sen. Marco Rubio, who was viewed positively by 61 percent.
**Three out of four are registered to vote in the U.S, and 57 fifty seven percent registered as a Democrat, 18 percent independent, 12 percent Republican and 13 percent declined to say or did not know.
**100 percent had heard of Trump, 76 percent had heard of Rubio, 69 percent had heard of Scott and 50 percent had heard of Nelson.
Make no mistake, this is terrible news for the Democrats. While the Puerto Ricans aren’t well disposed toward President Trump, that doesn’t seem to extend to the rest of the Republican Party or Governor Scott. The usual pattern in recent years is that immigrants have come to the country, been bribed with welfare, and become loyal Democrats.
In this case, however, Scott is doing yeoman’s work to prevent this from happening and keep this critical Florida demographic from going Democrat. I think there’s a good chance he will outright win the Puerto Rican vote. I expect Scott to comfortably beat Nelson, and I think this race also serves as a harbinger for the rest of the November elections as well.