Republican candidates will not get Hispanic support if they 'just show up mid-election year,' says GOP pollster

Republican candidates will not get long-term support from Hispanic voters if they only work to appeal to the growing demographic during election years, Republican pollster Jim Hobart said Friday. 

"The phrasing is 'you can't just show up in September, mid-election year. You gotta be there all along,'" Hobart, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

Hobart held up outgoing Florida governor and Sen.-elect Rick Scott (R) and former President George W. Bush as examples of Republicans who worked to foster long-term relationships with the Hispanic communities in Florida and Texas, respectively. 

"Someone like Gov., now soon-to-be Sen. Scott really did a good job of that," Hobart said. "Rick Scott is someone who worked very, very hard throughout his time as governor at appealing to Hispanics."

"More famously, President [George W.] Bush, when he was governor of Texas, did a really good job and made a concerted effort of appealing to Hispanics in Texas, and you saw that in the types of support he got from them, both when he ran for governor and when he ran for president, especially in 2000," he added. 

Florida Republicans won a larger share of Hispanic voters in 2018 than President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE did in 2016, suggesting the GOP is making inroads with the group in the battleground state. Still, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released before last month's midterm elections found that Hispanic voters overwhelmingly identify as Democrats.

— Julia Manchester