GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Orlando, Fla. (Pic by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr)

The liberal Center for American Progress and the conservative Hispanic Leadership Network each published a list of 10 things you need to know about Latino voters in Florida, one day before the state’s GOP presidential primary.

The Center for American Progress’ mission is to “develop new policy ideas, critique the policy that stems from conservative values, challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter, and shape the national debate.” The group’s leader, John Podesta, has served several Democratic party leaders and founded the organization in 2003 ”to provide long-term leadership and support to the progressive movement.”

According to Open Secrets, the organization spent more than $2.1 million on lobbying between 2009 and 2011. Citing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, a Latino Decisions/ABC/Univision poll, Florida International University and the Pew Hispanic Center, the Center’s list includes:

  • Florida’s Latino vote is complex and does not follow national trends. Cubans make up 32 percent of eligible Latino voters, Puerto Ricans 28 percent and Mexicans 9 percent.
  • Thirty-one percent of the state’s registered Latino voters are Republicans, while 38 percent are Democrats. Twenty-nine percent of registered Latino voters in Florida hold no party affiliation and 2 percent are registered with another party.
  • In 2008, among all Florida GOP voters, John McCain won the primary over Mitt Romney by a margin of 5 percent, or 97,000 votes. Among the state’s Latino voters, however, McCain won 51 percent to Romney’s 15 percent.
  • In 2010 only 40 percent of non-Cuban Latino voters supported Florida’s Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who rejects comprehensive immigration reform, while nearly 78 percent of Cuban voters supported Rubio.
  • In the 2008 general election Obama won Florida’s Latino vote 57 percent to 42 percent, after winning the state by 3 points (51-48).
  • In a poll conducted Jan. 16–23, 70 percent of Florida’s registered Latino voters stated that they would be more likely to support a candidate seeking to pass the DREAM Act, while only 6 percent would be less likely.
  • President Obama leads over either Romney or Gingrich among Latino registered voters nationally and in Florida

The Hispanic Leadership Network is led by former Gov. Jeb Bush and Carlos Gutierrez, who served in the administration of George W. Bush and is currently linked to Citi Group. The Network is an initiative of the American Action Network, created “to engage the Hispanic Community on center-right issues that will restore opportunity and prosperity in America.” Open Secrets points out that the American Action Network “is an independent political organization that primarily raises and spends money on behalf of conservative political candidates.”

Here are 10 facts about Florida Hispanic voters, according to a poll conducted by the Hispanic Leadership Network/Resurgent Republic:

  • Six in 10 say the country is on the wrong track.
  • Only 46 percent support Obama on a generic presidential ballot today versus 57 percent in 2008.
  • A narrow plurality says it is time for someone else to be President with a wider margin among independents.
  • Six in 10 say Obama has not delivered on his 2008 promises.
  • Thirty-eight percent “believe the situation for Hispanics in the U.S. is worse not better under Obama,” while 40 percent say it is about the same.
  • Nearly 45 percent believe the economy and 18 percent jobs are the most important issues.
  • An overwhelming 85 percent are very or somewhat concerned about the federal government’s level of spending and debt.
  • Fifty-one percent dissaprove “of Obama’s handling of the economy.”
  • A plurality believes Obama’s policies have made things worse.
  • Fifty-six percent believes Obama is a weaker leader than expected.

Resurgent Republic was co-founded by Ed Gillespie, a GOP strategist and counselor to president George W. Bush.

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