2) According to Census figures, the Hispanic population surged 43% in the last decade and Hispanics now make up more than 16% of the nation's population. The nation's fastest growing ethnic group is likely to play an increasingly influential role in 2012 and elections in years beyond. Republicans in particular, who had a mediocre record in 2010 when it came to reaching out to Hispanic voters, will have to find a way to make inroads or risk falling further behind with the rapidly growing Latino electorate. 1) Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-Fla.) will be announcing whether he's running for the Florida Senate this morning at 10 a.m at the same Lee County courthouse where his father, the state's longtime former senator, kicked off his campaigns. There have been mixed signals about his intentions, but right now the smart money is that he's going to be entering the race against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). Mack has been tight-lipped about his plans: Both national GOP officials and many of his close political allies weren't aware of what he would be saying at today's announcement. Even Connie Mack Sr. was mum when asked what his son was going to announce. "I'm out on a sailboat," Connie Mack Sr. said, when approached by Hotline On Call Thursday. "Those are his decisions, not ours. He's the only one who would know that." A GOP fundraiser, Jorge Arrizuerieta, who has been touting a Mack Senate candidacy for months, sent out an invitation Thursday for a "friends lunch fundraising meeting intended to help his congressional reelection campaign.'' He added, "If I were a betting man I'd say there's a 50-50 shot Connie enters this race.'' If Mack enters the race, the Florida Republican field would be crowded and competitive. State Senate President Mike Haridopolos is in and raising money, former state Senate President Adam Hasner has formed an exploratory committee and former Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) is also expected to run. Nelson is one of the more vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election in 2012. A Mason-Dixon poll conducted last month showed Nelson receiving less than 50 percent of the vote against all prospective challengers. -- Josh Kraushaar and Beth Reinhard contributed to this report CORRECTION: An original version of this story mistakenly referred to Nelson as a Republican. We regret the error.
Hotline Sort: Mack To The Future
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