“Rubio v. Clinton?”

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Raoul Lowery Contreras

Raoul Lowery Contreras

By Raoul Lowery Contreras

The latest Fox News poll has every viable Republican Presidential candidate beating the presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton with Senator Marco Rubio defeating her by a runaway 8 points and Ben Carson (by 5), Senator Ted Cruz by (4), Donald Trump beats her by (5), Jeb Bush by (6) and Carly Fiorina ties Hillary at 42-42.

This is a national poll taken after the Paris Friday Night Massacre. It validates rumors heard from Clinton operatives, donors and campaign workers – Hillary Clinton fears Marco Rubio.

The results show the impact of what the sudden bombings and attacks performed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Middle East and in France followed by public threats released by ISIS in which it claims that attacks are forthcoming in the United States.

Up to now the current Presidential campaign has focused on domestic and economic issues. Puerto Ricans are concerned about the deep financial problems of Puerto Rico and there is talk of bankruptcy. Cuban Americans have chosen sides on the Obama-inspired breakthrough with the Castro dictatorship. Mexican Americans, themselves are a Trump issue in the campaign (those that have migrated here from Mexico), along with Mexicans who are here without “papers.” Trade with Mexico, our third largest trading partner also a Trump issue – The Mexicans “are ripping us off.”

Foreign policy has not been a major issue at all since the campaign began in earnest except for Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He hit it on the head when he said that “Foreign policy isn’t important until it is.”
Foreign policy/terrorism has risen to the top of issues for voters since the Paris Massacre. The direct effect of the massacre was to shunt domestic issues aside and in the process focus everyone’s eyes on candidates that the voters think can handle the issue of life and death, war and peace, and how to handle terrorism.

Two candidates took immediate hits: Hillary Clinton who helped the terrorist cauldron boil up by being integral part the Obama arms-length treatment of terrorism and its refusal to even name the enemies; i.e. Radical Muslims, radical Islam. Libya’s dysfunction since Obama and Clinton made it possible for radical Islamists to prosper, including ISIS. The Syrian disaster and the very rise of ISIS are being laid at Hillary’s feet.

The second candidate to take a huge hit is Dr. Ben Carson whose rise in the polls has not only stalled, his standing in the Fox poll has fallen five points since last month. His stumbles over terrorism, Muslims and foreign policy have cratered his campaign. Rising rapidly during the same period is Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
What strikes one the most is not that Rubio and Cruz have risen but that they both do very well against Hillary Clinton. Cruz polls better than her but not by as much as Rubio does. What does that mean?
What it means, it is thought here, is that Cruz has little traction compared to Rubio, especially with Hispanics. Puerto Ricans are a very Democratic group and peeling votes from that cohort of Democrats is hard for a Republican, ditto with New York’s Dominicans. There are some independent Puerto Ricans and it is they Republicans can convince. Cruz will not do well with this middle-of-the-road group. Rubio can appeal to these Puerto Ricans. This is important in Florida.

The largest obstacle for Hispanic Republicans is the mammoth Mexican American population that generally supports Democrats. It should be pointed out that Mexican Americans are not as Democrat as are Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. Dominicans and Puerto Ricans have been known to be heavier Democrat voters than Blacks. Mexican Americans have a history of voting for Republicans; e.g. George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Governor Susan Martinez.

The import of Mexican Americans politically is that 65 percent of the total Hispanic population is of Mexican-origin. Subtracting out non-citizens one still finds more than 20 million Mexican Americans and though they are located mostly in California and Texas, we find substantial numbers of them in swing states like Colorado and Nevada.
In a close election, then, Mexican Americans become as important as Puerto Ricans and Cubans in Florida.
A Republican can win the Presidency without carrying Colorado and/or Nevada but no Republican can win the Presidency without carrying Florida. Rubio is at least an even bet to do well with Colorado and Nevada Mexican American voters but he is a sure fire bet to carry Florida.

Thus, the significance of Marco Rubio is obvious in showing well in polls, in showing general election strength against Hillary and in being a Republican point man on the number one issue of the day, foreign policy/terrorism. Rubio can win and in the final analysis, winning in November is the number one criteria for Republican voters. If it isn’t, if it is pure ideology, there is no chance. Rubio can win.