You think you know Florida's Latino voters? Guess again. As the candidates have been finding out, these aren't yesterday's Hispanics.What you didn't know:
1)There's lots of them. Half (almost, anyway -- 49 percent) of all the Hispanics in the state are eligible to vote. That's 2.1 million eligible Latino voters, the third most in the nation. In all, they account for about 16 percent of all the state's eligible voters.
2)They aren't all Republicans. Believe it or not, more of them are registered as Democrats than Republicans. According to the state department of elections, 452,619 are registered as Republicans; 564,513 are registered as Democrats.
3)They aren't all Cuban. Cuban- Americans are still the biggest group of Hispanics in the state (32 percent), but Puerto Ricans (28 percent) are catching up fast. A full one-fourth (25 percent) have Central or South American roots. Fewer than one-in-10 are of Mexican origin.
That's a real contrast with the rest of the country. Nationwide, 59 percent are of Mexican origin, 14 percent Puerto Rican, and a mere 5 percent are Cuban-American.
4)Over two-thirds of Florida's Hispanic Republicans live in just two counties. Miami-Dade and Broward.
5)And the county with the highest concentration of Hispanic Republicans is ... (OK, you knew this one) Miami-Dade.
As a percentage of total registered Republicans, the counties with the most Latino Republicans are Miami-Dade (72 percent; South Florida), Osceola (21 percent; Central Florida), Hendry (18 percent; South-Central Florida), Broward (16 percent; South Florida) and Hardee (12 percent; Central Florida).
Source: Terra/Carlos Harrison