Rick Scott won the GOP primary, but immigration advocates caution he's going to have a tough time attracting support from Hispanics -- given his strong championing of Arizona's immigration law.
"While it did in the short term help Scott emerge from the primary, it leaves him in the position of almost being a dead man walking when you look at his favorability rating," said Fernand Amandi, vice president of Democratic pollster Bendixen & Amandi. "How does Scott tap into any Hispanic support I think is a key question for Florida."
He and GOP lobbyist Ana Navarro, who dropped her support for Bill McCollum after he backed legislation even tougher than Arizona's, suggested on a conference call that it was McCollum's walkback on immigration that at least partly cost him the primary. McCollum won Miami-Dade -- but turnout there was below that of the rest of the state, Amandi said.
"You look at a three point loss and the county with the biggest number of Hispanic Republicans being Miami-Dade underperformed," Amandi said. "Several factors were in play but how could one of them not have been the 11th hour move on immigration...which alienated a significant amount of his Hispanic Republican supporters."