CNN's John King reports Florida Sen. Mel Martinez will become the new chairman of the Republican National Committee. Sen. Martinez will remain in office and serve as the party's primary spokesman as well as take a major role in fundraising and political outreach.
Martinez was born in Cuba and emigrated here as a child. He will be the first Hispanic chairman of the RNC and will reach out to those voters because Republican gains among Hispanics evaporated in Tuesday's elections, mostly due to harsh rhetoric on immigration. In 2004, when President Bush was at the top of the ticket, an estimated 44% of Hispanics cast Republican ballots. This years, the figure dropped to 29%.