President Obama may have not technically won the Cuban vote -- but he did manage to score the biggest share of this historically Republican vote that any Democratic presidential candidate has ever gotten.
President Obama nearly won the solidly Republican Cuban-American vote in Florida and rolled up huge margins with every other Hispanic group in the state, according to an exit poll performed by a firm that also worked for his campaign.
Obama actually won Cuban-Americans who voted on Election Day itself, taking 53 percent of their vote compared to 47 percent for Republican Mitt Romney, who built up a lead among those who cast absentee and early in-person ballots, according to the survey of 4,866 voters conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International.
Romney narrowly carried Cuban-Americans, 52-48 percent, which is a decrease for Republicans when compared to 2008.
Experts have long said that the Cuban population in Miami would slowly turn more Democratic as younger Cuban Americans started to vote. In general, young Cuban-Americans in Miami are more likely than their parents' and grandparents' generation to vote for Democrats.
While Obama didn't completely win the Cuban vote, this definitely highlights a trend that is troubling for Republicans. Not only is the GOP losing ground with Latinos as a whole -- they are also losing ground with the one staunchly Republican segment of that population.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported,
“The conservative movement should have particular appeal to people in minority and immigrant communities who are trying to make it, and Republicans need to work harder than ever to communicate our beliefs to them,” Rubio said in a statement today.
Republicans are losing support among Florida’s Cuban community as younger voters turn toward the Democratic Party and the percentage of the electorate made up of older Cuban-American immigrants shrinks, the poll showed. The trend is found in other Hispanic communities as well, including among Nicaraguans, Puerto Ricans and Venezuelans.
Ros-Lehtinen told WLRN's Phil Latzman the day after the election that the GOP has "to admit there is a problem" with its failure to appeal to minorities.
"I think our party is unable to reach that conclusion, yet," she lamented. "We are headed for a bad place."
A heavily Cuban-American Congressional district also just elected its first Cuban-American Democrat to the U.S. House.