The 2016 election may very well be the one election that changes the face of Florida politics.
Well, considering that the island of Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, is enduring unprecedented unemployment and a staggering $72 billion in debt, more and more islanders are moving to Florida, mainly to central Florida.
Aside from those island Puerto Ricans moving to Florida, the transplants who have lived in the northeast United States, namely New York, are also realizing that the weather in Florida is a lot more agreeable to them, and are making move south.
Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, has been struggling with $72 billion in debt and soaring unemployment. The Pew Research Center calculates that the island’s population dropped by 11,000 people a year in the 1990s, but between 2010 and 2013, the loss accelerated to 48,000 a year.
This year, with economic problems growing, the number leaving for the mainland is even higher.
Florida — particularly the area around Orlando in central Florida — has become the hottest destination for Puerto Ricans. Disney World and the many jobs associated with the tourist industry around it offer entry-level jobs.
While many of these island Puerto Ricans are considered to be non-party affiliated, and while both Democrats and Republicans are surely looking to garner their voting registration, it appears that the Republicans may be at a disadvantage.
Even though former Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortunio has stated that islanders tend to be more conservative (BrownPeople.org.) the reality in the U.S. is that many Puerto Ricans who now reside on the mainland have been indoctrinated into the entitlement system, and vote Democrat because Republicans do not offer the kinds of “goodies” or promise of entitlements that the Democrat Party offers.
Remember, President Obama barely won Florida in 2012.
Now, if the growing number of Puerto Ricans who are moving to Florida continue leaning Democrat, the GOP will have a bigger problem in the coming elections, if they don’t change their reactive and failed “Hispanic Outreach” messaging.