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Economy Tops Cuba Policy for Floridians

by Joanna Klonsky
October 28, 2008

The Miami Herald reports today that the economy is trumping U.S. policy toward Cuba as the most important important issue for voters in South Florida’s three congressional races:

In years past, Cuba has been a dominant issue and given the three hard-line Cuban-American Republicans an edge among like-minded, motivated voters. But with a faltering economy and increasingly diverse districts, the Cuba debate has largely receded to Spanish language radio as the candidates trade barbs on taxes, trade and fitness for office.

Incumbent Republican Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are all being challenged by Democratic candidates who have benefited from the support of young Cuban-American voters who are “weary of exile politics,” according to the report.

Politico also looks at these hotly-contested races today, and considers the possibility of an end to the decades of Republican support from the Cuban-American community in the area.

U.S.-Cuba policy hasn’t played a major role in the presidential race of late, either. The issue has barely come up since Cuban Independence Day in May 2008, when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Democratic candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) outlined their respective positions on policy toward Raul Castro’s regime.

For more on the presidential and vice-presidential candidates positions on U.S. policy toward Cuba, see this CFR.org Issue Tracker on the matter.

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