Fernand Amandi, from the polling firm Bendixen and Amandi who conducted the exit poll that proved the shift of Cuban Americans away from the Republican party is real, called it “a sea change”. I call it a tsunami, because that’s how it hit the Cuban American establishment. Here are some reverberations:
From the Wall Street Journal, refuting the theory that new generations of Cuban Americans vote like their parents:
When Mr. Blanco, the Obama voter, first registered to vote in 1998, he checked Republican. “I just went along with the way I was brought up,” he said. But soon, he said, “I realized that was not the best decision for me.”His stances on social issues, such as support for gay marriage and abortion rights, made him feel uncomfortable in the GOP, he said. Shortly after the 2000 election, in which he voted for Democrat Al Gore, he registered as an independent. This year, he switched to Democrat.
From the Daily Beast, the smart Republican operatives realize they need to adapt.
“It is a sign that the younger Cuban-American voters are voting on more than just the Cuban issue,” said Florida GOP operative and Rubio campaign manager Jose Mallea. “There’s just not just the affinity for the Republican Party of their parents’ generation.” Not that Mallea sees an inevitably dark future. “This is a community that is very entrepreneurial.… But going beyond Spanish-speaking Cuban-Americans, the second or third generation, they watch the same news as everyone else—CNN, CBS, ABC—and that’s consistent with the momentum that Obama had across the board.”