December 14, 2011 Not Rubio … yet
This poll explodes the myth that putting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on the ticket would gain Latino votes for the Republican nominee; the poll showed that the percentage of Latino voters more likely to vote for a Republican if Rubio was VP was about as high as the percentage more likely to vote against the Republican nominee.
Of course, this should not be surprising to anyone who has followed recent Senate and gubernatorial elections; the pattern from exit polls has been that black and female Republicans didn’t automatically gain a ton of black and female votes- so why should Latinos be any different? For example, Linda McMahon (the Republican nominee for Conn. Senate) got 46% of the male vote but only 40% of the female vote. And in New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte polled 10 points lower among women than among men.
If there is a case for Rubio, it is that he is from a big swing state (Florida).
But to me, that argument is outweighed by his inexperience. In 2008, the Republicans had a Vice Presidential candidate who had only spent a couple of years in statewide office; I think it is fair to say that she was not quite ready for a national election. Rubio would have the same defect. And since he has only been elected once (in a VERY Republican year) its not clear that he is even that popular in Florida.
That doesn’t mean Rubio won’t be a credible candidate in 2016 – or better yet, in 2020, after he has proven himself with his home-state electorate. But a year and a half of statewide office is, in my opinion, not enough to show much of anything about someone’s appeal.