William Snyder of Arizona-style immigration bill fame, to chair Florida House Judiciary Committee

But Amandi writes that on a variety of other issues, the Democrats, and in particular Alex Sink, conceded the issue:

on issues such as comprehensive immigration reform, the Dream Act, English-only as the official language, healthcare, denying citizenship to U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants and even the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, Scott and Rubio were at odds with the majority of Florida's Hispanics, but no one bothered to inform the electorate.

Instead, Rubio and, to a lesser extent, Scott had the Spanish-language airwaves to themselves and walked away with the lion's share of the Hispanic vote. This served to increase Rubio's margin of victory in his three-way contest, and it helped barely pull Scott into the winner's circle.

Compare this strategy with what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to accomplish in Nevada. Under siege for nearly two years, with virtually everyone counting him out and a tea party activist poised to claim his seat, Reid invested heavily in voter education, outreach and mobilization efforts among Hispanics. The result was a much higher than anticipated Hispanic turnout in Nevada and Reid winning 68 percent of the Hispanic vote -- a margin that proved decisive for his campaign.

Hispanics also played a pivotal role in securing victory for Democrats in Colorado, Washington and California, thereby salvaging the Democratic majority in the Senate.

Why didn't Sink exploit this?  Was it the fear of somehow offending conservatives? Sink said she did not want an Arizona style bill, but then quickly segued into talking about penalizing employers who hired undocumented immigrants.

As Ana Navarro told the Miami Herald:

"The immigration issue was a loaded gun lying on the floor, but Alex Sink stepped right over it and never pulled the trigger and Scott masterfully hid it under the rug,'' said Ana Navarro, a Republican who has lobbied for immigration reform.

Stuart GOP House Representative William Snyder was named by House Speaker Dean Cannon on Monday to chair the Florida Judiciary Committee.

The name is probably familiar to those who will recall that Snyder has already introduced an illegal immigration bill in the Legislature that he said back in the summer would be the envy of those who are partial to what the state of Arizona originally attempted to do with its illegal immigration legislation.

Snyder's bill was controversial even before it was discovered that it contains a provision that allows some individuals to be presumed to be legal in the U.S. if they can show proof of Canadian citizenry and or a passport from a "visa waiver" country, which means in most cases somebody from Europe. Citizens of those countries can visit for 90 days without having to obtain a U.S. visa., though they may be required to obtain a Homeland Security permit.

When Representative Snyder introduced the bill at a news conference in August, he was joined by then gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum, who was desperately vying to spruce up his tough on illegal immigration image, after losing ground to Rick Scott on the issue.  Most analysts believe that Scott was able to put McCollum on the defensive from the get go once he entered the campaign, and for the first few weeks of Scott's candidacy illegal immigration seemed to be a defining difference.

Proving that it was mostly about politics and hardly about the law, Scott pretty much dropped the issue once he got into the general election against Alex Sink, and he's barely said a word about it other than he thinks its a federal issue since being elected.

In an op-ed written Monday by Fernand Amandi, the managing partner of Bendixen & Amandi, a Miami based public opinion firm, Amandi blasts Alex Sink for deemphasizing the Latino vote this year.

Contrary to all the righteous indignation about the president and his agenda as an excuse for Sink's failure, it was this critical tactical error that cost her the election.

Have Hispanics become more conservative in the past two years? No. Have Hispanics abandoned the president or overwhelmingly disagree with his policies? No.

Amandi  writes what others have about mentioned about the Latino vote in 2010 and why it went so strongly for Republicans in Florida; that is, while it went heavily for Democrats nationwide (64%), in Florida,  conservative Hispanics w came out in large numbers to support Marco Rubio.

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