Thirteen years ago, there were 700,000 more Democrats in Florida than Republicans. Today, that advantage has shrunk to only 23,055.
The GOP is closing the gap in the Sunshine State, and much of that is thanks to Hispanic voters. More than 127,000 Hispanic Americans have switched their party affiliation from Democrat to Republican since 2018. If this trend continues, Republicans will surpass Democrats in registration for the first time in state history.
As we look ahead to the 2022 midterm elections, this trend is emblematic of how we’re planning to take back Congress.
The truth is, Democrats have long taken minority voters for granted. Identity politics and critical race theory are central to their push to dictate the issues they think voters should care about, the candidates they should support, and the party they should join.
But their praise of socialism and promises of government welfare fails to resonate with Hispanic voters in Florida, many of whom fled socialist and communist countries because of these very destructive ideologies.
Instead, they seek freedom and opportunity. They want a party that supports conservative policies like the sanctity of life, hard work, and patriotism.
And they’re finding it in the GOP.
A recent battleground poll found that a majority of Hispanic voters reject the pillars of the Democrat agenda heading into the 2022 midterm elections. For instance, 65% oppose Democrats’ attempts to make voter ID illegal.
Eighty percent agree that public schools are failing. And 72% agree that America must do what is necessary to control our southern border.
The poll also found that Hispanic voters value capitalism over socialism and worry that their children will not have opportunities in the United States if our nation continues to follow Democrats’ radical path.
By contrast, a recent Quinnipiac Poll discovered that only 38% of Hispanic voters approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance, as he has embraced these and many other dangerous policies.
It’s no wonder Hispanics are switching sides: Republican policies work.
Under President Donald Trump’s administration, the Hispanic American unemployment rate hit several record lows in 2019, including falling below 4% for the first time in history. In addition, the median Hispanic American income rose by more than $5,000 during Trump’s first three years in office, hitting a record high.
In 2020, Trump won 38% of Hispanic voters, picking up an additional 10 points in support from 2016.
Republicans are working to maintain that momentum going forward. That’s why we’re reaching out to minority voters by opening community centers in cities like Doral. These centers signify the sustained efforts we’re making to build lasting relationships with new voters and invest in their communities across the country.
This is about so much more than just politics. Being present in communities makes us a stronger party and helps us better represent the people we serve.
It’s also why we’re recruiting a deep bench of new candidates to run for office. In 2020, Republicans netted 15 seats in the House of Representatives and added five new Hispanics to Republicans’ ranks in Congress.
Members of Congress like Mike Garcia of California, Tony Gonzales of Texas, Nicole Malliotakis of New York, and Florida’s Carlos Giménez and Maria Elvira Salazar are bringing new enthusiasm and perspectives to the GOP. They’re breaking stereotypes and showing Hispanic voters that they have more in common with the Republican Party than they may realize.
The RNC is using its resources to tell personal stories of Hispanic Americans who are proud to be part of the Republican Party. Videos like our “Free of Fear” series give them a platform to talk about their heritage, the issues they care about, and why they love this nation. Their testimonies are powerful. By highlighting these individuals, we’re shaping the conversation and challenging the narrative that Hispanics owe the Democrat Party their allegiance.
As we look ahead to November 8, 2022, we’re confident about our prospects in Florida and nationwide because voters’ values align with the Republican Party — not Democrats.
By making inroads into new communities, the GOP looks forward to communicating our message of opportunity, patriotism, and common sense.
Ronna McDaniel is chair of the Republican National Committee.