This important swing state is creating problemas for Democrats.
Last week President Trump came to South Florida to host the Latinos for Trump Roundtable, at his Doral resort. It was a crucial visit in this most crucial of states for next month’s election, a state that Trump narrowly took in the 2016 vote and propelled him to his upset victory. Since then the President, and state GOP officials, have been doing the needed work to not only shore up his support but expand it.
The Democrats have been notably lax in their ground efforts here in the Sunshine State regarding the Latin voters. There seems to be a feeling that the years spent declaring President Trump is a racist who hates immigrants would be enough for them to count on the Latin voters. The opposite has become revealed, as support for the President has increased since 2016. Things were revealed to be problematic this summer when the local Democrat party offices were reaching for desperate help, declaring the national party was suppressing the Hispanic vote in this state.
One of the other issues is that many declare South Florida to be the bastion of the Cuban-American conservative vote, when in fact there is a varied Hispanic community in the area. This is something that Kamala Harris encountered when she came to the area just after the Democrat convention. It was a photo-op moment when she visited a Venezuelan restaurant to get take-out and do some glad-handing with the customers. Only, they had not scheduled the visit, and her presence created a backlash and delivered bad publicity as a result.
Local news disaster for @KamalaHarris in Doral, Florida.
She visited a Venezuelan restaurant *unannounced* — and the owner was left angry, customers called for a boycott.
She was "not welcome"… pic.twitter.com/Vhh6lAIAbW
— The Hill Report (@StandWithAZ) September 15, 2020
The Latinos have been a voting block the Democrats have taken for granted, while the GOP have taken them seriously. From relief efforts in Puerto Rico spearheaded by then Governor Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio, to the support the Trump administration has given to opposition in Venezuela to the socialist regime the Republicans have earned good favor in the state with the Hispanic demographic.
During the 2018 midterms many experts expected the state legislature to flip to Democrat control, boosted in large part to the influx of Puerto Rican residents who fled the effects of a devastating hurricane. What they had failed to account for is that the exodus from Puerto Rico had long been taking place for at least a decade, and those island-voting Democrats were fleeing an inept and corrupt government. They had developed a cynical view of the party and a large portion of transplants were registering as Independent once in Florida. The result: That election saw the Florida GOP making gains in the capital, and we currently have two GOP senators for the first time since the 1800s.
A recent poll by Bendixen & Amandi International and the Miami Herald has exposed the growing acceptance of President Trump in the area, something revealed by the visits made by Harris and Joe Biden. While Miami-Dade is regarded as a Democrat stronghold where light work from the party is needed there is a notable shift. In 2016 Hillary Clint won Dade County by a massive 30% advantage, but the newest figures show that the lead by Biden over Trump has nearly been cut in half, as Biden leads 55-38%. The biggest reason for this cut into the lead is that the two candidates are tied among Hispanics — 47-46% in favor of the President. More than the percentages, the volume of Hispanic voters in the area dwarfs that of the black voting block, which Biden has counted on.
Beyond South Florida, statewide there are issues. Another poll among Hispanic likely voters in Florida shows Biden with a lead, but again much lower than Clinton enjoyed. Where the former First Lady enjoyed a 27 point advantage among Latinos in Florida Biden has slipped to only a 16 point lead. The volume of votes this shift in percentages represents is very significant in a state that traditionally has very thin winning margins in many races.
The sloth the Democrats displayed in the early stages of the campaign is leading to some troubling results for their prospects in this deeply important state.