Marco Rubio Angers Floridians


rubioFlorida voters are unhappy with Senator Marco Rubio’s slide on immigration reform and background checks for gun purchasers.  Some of them are angry.

As a potential presidential candidate in 2016, polls show he would trail possible Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

However, he has maintained his edge in popularity with Florida voters with a 51-35 favorability rating.

Rubio’s numbers show that, as the nation’s best-known Hispanic-American politician, he “has a tightrope to walk between keeping the folks back home happy and serving as a high-profile symbol for the GOP nationally,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a statement.

“A mark of an able politician is one who can keep his support among the electorate even when that politician follows his own path rather than the public’s preference on a high-profile issue like immigration or gun control,” he said.

President Obama carried Florida in both 2008 and 2012.  Florida voters disapprove of the way Rubio is handling immigration 41 to 33 percent, and on the issue of gun buyer background checks 49 to 10 percent.

Florida voters overwhelmingly support background checks, with 73 percent in favor of them including 63 percent of voters in houses with guns. Another 14 percent of all voters support them somewhat.

Rubio’s Hispanic heritage fails to give him an edge over Ms. Clinton.  Hispanics support the Democrat over Rubio in Florida 58 to 35 percent and 52 to 36 percent over Florida’s other favorite Republican son, Jeb Bush.

Florida is representative of the direct conflict between the voting public and their Senators and Congressmen.  Those they elect do not vote for issues based on the concerns of their constituents.

Floridians favor a path to citizenship for 11,000,000 immigrants by 58 percent.  24 percent believe they should be deported, and 12 percent believe they should stay, but not be allowed to attain citizenship.

Supporting a path to citizenship are 54 percent of white voters, 66 percent of black voters and 69 percent of Hispanic voters.

Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott also lacks favorability with the people of his state.  His rating is at 43 percent.  Much of it is related to a veto of a measure that would have supported children of undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses.  The measure was favored by most of the state’s people.  59 percent to 32 percent, including 53 percent support among whites and 72 percent and 80 percent among blacks and Hispanics approved the bill.

The governor did receive approval from his party for catering to its base.

Republicans continue to face serious problems in the upcoming elections.  Women’s rights, same-sex marriage, immigration, and gun control measures are still issues which find the GOP on the wrong side of popular opinion.

If a comprehensive immigration bill fails, which I believe it will, and the finger of blame is pointed at House Republicans, which it should be, Florida may become a permanent ‘blue’ state.

Rubio has failed to demonstrate courage to his constituents.  He was a member of the Senate ‘gang of eight,’ which crafted immigration reform, now he’s against parts of it.

When he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Congress, CPAC, early this year, he demonstrated his cowardice by not mentioning immigration during his speech to the party’s base.

If Marco Rubio continues to anger Floridians, he can unpack his bags for his expected presidential campaign tour.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express


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