Analysis: Cuevas-Neunder Gets Votes as “The Only Bilingual Candidate”

fl-gov-race

In the Florida primary for governor, the winners were clear: Rick Scott and Charlie Crist.

Republican voters outnumbered Democratic voters in the primary: 952,864 people voted in the Republican primary and 838,914 in the Democratic primary. Rick Scott is the current Republican governor, and Crist, running as a Democrat, is the former Republican governor of Florida.

For those following the news about Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans, the Republican primary is particularly interesting. Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder, founder of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Florida and, in her own words, “the only bilingual candidate,” is from Puerto Rico. She volunteered during the 2012 plebescite.

Political insiders expressed surprise that Cuevas, with what the Florida Courier described as “no meaningful…budget,” took 10.6% of the votes. The Courier also described the votes for Cuevas as “a protest vote.”

A county by county look at the numbers shows that Cuevas received more than 10% of the vote in 41 of Florida’s 70 counties, sometimes significantly more. Some of the counties where Cuevas did well are shown below.  Click the pie charts for larger images.

cuevas1 cuevas2 cuevas3

In Osceola and Orange Counties, which have the largest share of Puerto Rican residents in the state, Cuevas-Neunder garnered 13.33% and 12.45% of the vote respectively.

Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez Cantera, running for re-election with Scott, is also of Puerto Rican heritage, though he was born in Spain while his parents were traveling.

The chart below shows the performance of Cuevas-Neunder compared with the winner, Rick Scott, in each county.

Florida GOP Gubernatorial Primary 2014
County Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder Rick Scott
Total: 100,806 835,144
Miami-Dade 9,521 57,325
Pinellas 8,847 52,686
Hillsborough 5,175 46,199
Brevard 4,974 39,732
Orange 4,945 39,712
Lee 4,011 52,040
Palm Beach 3,614 27,334
Sarasota 3,605 25,157
Volusia 3,274 28,345
Pasco 3,234 18,209
Duval 3,226 45,113
Broward 3,054 20,663
Seminole 2,964 22,473
Polk 2,630 23,814
Martin 2,525 12,922
Manatee 2,521 19,095
Marion 2,393 17,430
Lake 2,232 17,420
St. Lucie 2,053 11,710
Citrus 1,781 12,643
Okaloosa 1,595 16,783
Hernando 1,468 8,033
Leon 1,420 11,023
Escambia 1,419 17,549
Charlotte 1,402 9,919
Clay 1,349 15,741
Collier 1,294 23,759
Santa Rosa 1,200 11,951
Indian River 1,181 8,621
St. Johns 1,153 15,561
Bay 1,065 14,567
Alachua 983 8,968
Osceola 975 7,310
Monroe 780 4,813
Highlands 713 5,415
Walton 690 5,494
Flagler 516 5,986
Nassau 448 7,136
Sumter 375 9,270
Columbia 345 3,719
Levy 337 2,999
Putnam 322 3,621
Okeechobee 295 1,785
Baker 252 2,210
Jackson 248 2,257
Wakulla 221 1,674
Suwannee 215 2,303
Washington 214 1,944
Holmes 209 1,271
Gilchrist 175 1,476
Hardee 162 1,396
Bradford 139 1,651
Desoto 135 932
Union 130 680
Dixie 113 877
Gulf 104 925
Hendry 94 869
Calhoun 67 425
Gadsden 65 667
Hamilton 55 420
Jefferson 52 565
Madison 51 642
Franklin 48 471
Lafayette 46 381
Taylor 46 710
Liberty 36 176
Glades 25 177

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