Research here:

Daniel A. Smith. 2001. “Homeward Bound? Micro-Level Legislative Responsiveness to Ballot Initiatives,” State Politics and Policy Quarterly 1 (1): 50-61.

Josh Huder, Jordan Ragusa, and Daniel A. Smith. 2011. “The Initiative to Shirk? The Effects of Ballot Measures on Congressional Voting Behavior,” American Politics Research 39 (3): 582-610.

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I merged information about the birthplace of the 13m registered voters in Florida with precinct results in the 2016 General Election.  The following figure reveals the two party vote for Trump and Clinton in those Florida precincts that had at least 100 Puerto Rican-born registered voters who voted in the 2016 General Election. Each of the precincts’ voters were at least 50% Hispanic, and at least 1/5 of those Hispanics who voted were Puerto Rican-born.  In other words, these are about as Puerto Rican of precincts in Florida as it gets.

For example, in these majority-Hispanic voter precincts, in which, say (on the X-Axis), 30% of Hispanics who voted were Puerto Rican-born (and that have at least 100 PR-born voters), Trump won only 30% of the vote, on average. He did very poorly in all of the predominantly Puerto Rican precincts.

PR 2016 Vote

Does this mean that Republicans are in trouble in FL if the exodus from PR to the mainland happens? Puerto Ricans, certainly compared with other Hispanic groups in Florida, have weak voter turnout.  Of the more than 180k PR-born voters in my database, only 112k of them voted in 2016 (62%). That’s much lower turnout rate than, say, Cuban-born voters in FL. In 2016, 242k of the 325k Cuban-born naturalized citizens in my database turned out; that’s roughly 75% turnout.

The following analysis comes from an extensive database my team and I have put together. It combines individual-level information of Florida voters (including where they were born) with precinct-level results.

The following graph plots precinct-level results. The size of the precincts are scaled to the total votes cast in a precinct in the 2016 General Election.  The Y-Axis is vote two-party share for Trump and Clinton. The X-Axis is the proportion of Hispanic voters in the precinct who are Cuban-born. Each precinct has at least 100 Cuban-born voters and at least 50% of voters were Hispanic.

As the LOWESS curves reveal, as the share of voters who are Cuban-born Hispanics increases, Trump’s share of the two-party vote steadily increases, intersecting with Clinton’s share of the vote around 42 percent of Cuban-born Hispanics, but then peaking at roughly 55 percent of the vote when the proportion of Cuban-born Hispanic voters reaches roughly 50 percent.

Although Trump won more than 60 percent of the two-party vote in a handful of these majority Hispanic precincts with a prevalence of Cuban-born voters, in Miami-Dade Precinct 335 (Hialeah), where 60 percent of the Hispanics who cast ballots were Cuban-born, Trump won less than 45 percent of the two-party vote.

Cuban Vote for Trump Precinct PNG

 

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