It is an important demographic for Rubio and Jeb Bush a fellow Floridian will be fighting for in the GOP primaries. Winning the Hispanic vote would help any Republican beat Hillary Clinton during the general election if she were to make it to that point.
Numbers in recent polls suggest Rubio’s retreat recently from his support previously of comprehensive reform in immigration is hurting him amongst Hispanics. He was a member of the Gang of Eight, the bipartisan group that drafted the reform package during 2013 and was passed in the Senate, but then stalled inside the House.
A poll recently held by Latino Decision a company in the political opinion arena stated that policy shift has hurt Rubio with Hispanic voters nationwide with only 31% having a favorable view of the Florida senator compared to 36% whose view is unfavorable.
In states with a key Hispanic influence, the numbers are even worse for Rubio. In Florida, he has an unfavorable rating of 42% in comparison to 39% favorability. In the state of California, only 25% of the Hispanics rated Rubio favorably in comparison to 39% who gave him an unfavorable mark.
Those figures are not anywhere close to the mark that one campaign pollster said Rubio needed to win the general election. White Ayres the pollster said Rubio the GOP nominee would have to win at least 40% of the Hispanic vote in the general election to win the presidency.
Stephen Nuno is an expert in Hispanic political participation and a Northern Arizona University professor who said the Republicans often do an analysis of loss-benefit when deciding if it is worth embracing policies that are popular amongst Hispanic voters such as the immigration reform and minimum wage increases.
Nuno said they perform the math to see if the white voters’ loss will be worth the gain of Hispanic voters.