A combination of GOP outreach and Democrat Bumbling tilted the state beyond dispute.
On Sunday evening President Trump wrapped up his campaign barnstorming tour by landing at the executive airport in the city of Opa-Locka. The area is just to the North of Miami and the curfew-defying crowd was large and energized as the President spoke around midnight. Seen in the throng were Cuban flags, Puerto Rican t-shirts, and face masks from Venezuela. This crowd and that energy translated to the polls on Tuesday.
It is with a combination of relief and shock (probably much more shock) that in the ongoing miasma of voting recounts the state of Florida has not had anything approaching a serious problem. The bigger issue though is President Trump won the state in such a fashion that there was little chance for challenges to rear up and cause problems.
Trump made significant improvements in many areas of the country, the most glaring coming from the Democrat stronghold of Miami-Dade County. When Trump upset Hillary Clinton here in 2016 he won with an advantage of just over 110,000 votes statewide. This time he bettered Joe Biden by more than 350,000 votes. Key to this was the manner Trump cut into the Dems’ Dade County lockbox.
As we discussed on the Townhall Media podcast The War For The White House, the Florida Hispanic community cannot be regarded as a solitary voting entity. The factions of Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Venezuelan residents each have differing influences and political priorities. The Democrats had both approached the Latino voter in uniform fashion, and they took these citizens for granted. It was back in July when I covered the fact the local Democrat offices were announcing they were basically going neglected by the campaign.
This was never properly addressed, as many local Democrat Hispanic leaders were not approached by the campaign. As Biden’s team tried to casually explain away the results in Dade the reality is a stark one. Hillary took the county by 30 percentage points in 2016, but last night Joe Biden barely edged out President Trump, by only 7 points. You can see the shift illustrated by Florida election data cruncher Matthew Isbell.
Miami-Dade in 2016 vs Miami-Dade in 2020
Massive gains in the Cuban community and in non-Cuban Hispanic areas. The same area where the turnout dynamic was much more in the GOP's favor leading into election day
— 🦠Matthew Isbell🍁 (@mcimaps) November 4, 2020
But the real story in this state goes beyond just the Presidency. The GOP picked up 2 seats in the state Senate, gained 9 new State House positions, and there were two major upsets over Democrat incumbents in the US House. In one hotly contested race Deborah Murcasel-Powell was unseated, as was former Clinton administration figure and past President of the University of Miami, Rep. Donna Shalala.
Another indicator comes from a solitary locale in the panhandle. Liberty County is due west of the state Capital of Tallahassee and, although it has had strong support for the President, on a local level it has historically always had Democrat politicians. On Tuesday they elected Republicans to a handful of county positions, including school superintendent and the Sheriff.
In 2018, when there was a surge of Democrat victories nationwide, Florida actually saw the GOP making gains and taking total control of the state government. This year that red hue turned closer to crimson. Joe Biden had his share of victories statewide. He turned a few areas, but the margins were razor thin, some by only 1,000 votes. None of these were near enough to compensate for the surge of new support the President enjoyed in Dade County.
This has helped President Trump receive historically high levels of minority support in the election. While the claims of racism will continue to be lobbed from the left, the Republican party is mounting a defense against this with the waning amount of evidence normally alleged.