From my latest article in TNR's print edition:
Nobody knows whether the Republican presidential nominee will be Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, or one of the other contenders. But virtually everybody who follows politics seems confident of one thing: The eventual nominee’s running mate will be Marco Rubio, the first-term senator from Florida.
It’s not just because he’s charismatic or eloquent—although he is both of those things. It’s also because Rubio’s Hispanic. And the ability to lure that traditionally Democratic constituency away from President Obama is tantalizing for Republicans. “When you look at the swing states and you look at the growing Hispanic population,” American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas recently said, “you have to ask, ‘Would a Marco Rubio or a Jeb Bush almost guarantee us a victory in those six states and win us the presidency?’ Probably.” But this, in turn, raises a question the answer to which is far from obvious: How do Hispanic voters really feel about Marco Rubio?
For some answers, read on.