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From Yellow Dog Democrats to Red State RepublicansFlorida and Its Politics since 1940$
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David R. Colburn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044859

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044859.001.0001

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Migration of the Middle Class, the Search for Community, and the Emerging Hispanic Presence

Migration of the Middle Class, the Search for Community, and the Emerging Hispanic Presence

(p.125) 5 Migration of the Middle Class, the Search for Community, and the Emerging Hispanic Presence
From Yellow Dog Democrats to Red State Republicans

David R. Colburn

University Press of Florida

This chapter delves into the state's dramatic population growth after 1970 and the consequences it had for Democratic leadership of the state and Florida's place in the nation. It examines closely the migration of the middle-class and seniors into the state and the immigration of Hispanics from Latin America. These groups came to Florida politics and eventually to the Republican Party for significantly different reasons. Not all shared a common political philosophy or political agenda--this proved to be particularly true of Cubans and Hispanics. These disparate groups lacked common ground and a sense of what it meant to be a Floridian. Instead almost all were caught up in adjusting to daily life, and they looked to local leaders and national leaders for guidance and assistance. The state was, for the most part, of minor importance in their daily lives. These population dynamics would significantly impact the Democratic Party's ability to maintain their control over Florida. Further complicating the situation for Democrats was its lack of a political infrastructure to ensure success over time. The consequence of this population growth combined with an institutionally weak Democratic Party enabled Republicans to elect their second governor--Bob Martinez--in the 20th century.

Keywords:   population growth, middle class, seniors, Cubans, Hispanics, migration, immigration, institutionally weak, Bob Martinez

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