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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Conservative group predicts growth in Hispanic voting in Florida



The Libre Institute, a conservative Hispanic group funded by the industrialist Koch brothers, predicted Friday that Latino turnout in Florida for the Nov. 8 election will be 65 percent, up from 62 percent in 2012. That increase puts Hispanic turnout at one-fifth of Florida voters -- about 1.7 million people.

In a report of Hispanic turnout across the country based on 2015 Census data released last month, Libre concluded that Latino voters could make a particular difference in contested Florida races for U.S. Senate and for the 26th congressional district, which extends from Westchester to Key West. Libre estimates the turnout in that congressional contest, between Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Democratic challenger Joe Garcia, to also hit 65 percent.

"With each passing year, the voice of the Hispanic community becomes stronger and more influential in a host of ways," Libre's executive director, Daniel Garza, said in a statement. "Latino voters in states like Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, and other states, will help determine the path taken by the elected leaders in Washington. This shows the importance -- for all policymakers -- of articulating a clear message about how we can work together to grow the economy and promote economic opportunity for all -- which will benefit not only the Hispanic community, but all Americans."

An affiliated political group, The Libre Initiative, is campaigning for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who's opposed by Jupiter Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy.

[Last modified: Friday, October 7, 2016 2:19pm]


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