GOP stepping up Hispanic outreach in Florida

MIAMI (AP) — Republicans are taking steps to boost their standing with Florida's fast-growing Hispanic population.

The Republican National Committee on Friday announced a group of Hispanic advisers to help its efforts to court Latinos in the Sunshine State. Among those on the panel are county and state elected officials, as well as Hispanic pastors.

The effort is part of a national GOP campaign to appeal to Latino voters after the 2012 election. Mitt Romney received just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote, the lowest portion for a Republican in 16 years.

Nationwide, the RNC has deployed 20 staffers to 10 Latino-rich states with competitive elections this fall. Operatives are registering Hispanics to vote and gauging voter opinions.

In Florida, Hispanics made up 17 percent of the electorate in 2012, up from 14 percent in 2008.