American-Cubans were seen celebrating in the streets of Miami after Donald Trump secured the state of Florida in the election – with exit polls suggesting 55% of the demographic voted for the president.
Miami Democrats blamed their Florida defeat on backlash from Hispanic and Latino voters over the Black Lives Matter movement and their ‘extreme’ efforts to defund the police, as well as Republican claims that Biden is a ‘socialist’.
Florida was among the key battleground states in this year’s presidential race and a must-win for Trump, whose 2016 victory in the state played a major factor in his win.
The president managed to secure the state once again on Election Night thanks in part to his improved numbers with Latinos, whose turnout in counties with large populations was bigger than it was four years ago.
Trump secured around 55 percent of Florida’s Cuban-American, according to NBC News exit polls.
The same exit polls show he was backed by 30 percent of Puerto Ricans and 48 percent of ‘other Latinos’.
Democrats say Trump’s win is also proof that Biden failed to get through to minority voters in the state, an issue Democratic Latino activists had been flagging for months ahead of the election.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reiterated those concerns shortly after the results rolled in overnight.
‘I won’t comment much on tonight’s results as they are evolving and ongoing, but I will say we’ve been sounding the alarm about Dem vulnerabilities w/ Latinos for a long, long time,’ she tweeted.
Democrats have blamed their Florida loss on their failure to secure the Latino vote in Florida, where Trump managed to win over the community for a second time after painting Biden as a socialist
The Latino community in Miami (pictured) is largely made up by Cuban Americans, many of whom have fled communist rule in Cuba
Supporters of President Trump rally in front of Cuban restaurant Versailles in Miami after the president was declared winner of the state early Wednesday
Ocasio-Cortez – who is of Puerto Rican descent – added: ‘There is a strategy and a path, but the necessary effort simply hasn’t been put in.’
She later retweeted a news story which said the Biden campaign didn’t consider Latinos ‘part of their path to victory’, commenting ‘we have work to do’.
In the Miami area, the Latino community is largely made up by Cuban Americans, where generations of families have fled Communist rule in Cuba.
Trump’s messages about Biden being a socialist seemed to win over the Cuban and Venezuelan communities in Miami-Dade County despite Biden’s denials.
Overall, with 96 percent of the vote counted in Miami-Dade, Biden won about 617,000 votes to Trump’s 532,000.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s margin was far greater – winning 624,000 to Trump’s 334,000.
‘It’s proof positive Democrats couldn’t rebut the socialist attack and that the Biden campaign just didn’t know what it was doing,’ Biden donor and Miami Democratic strategist Alejandro Miyar told Politico.
Meanwhile in Orange County, home to Orlando, Hispanics make up over 30 percent of the population – and many of them are Puerto Rican.
In Orange County, with 96 percent of the vote counted, Biden slightly overperformed Clinton’s vote share of 59.8 percent.
Biden won a greater share of the votes than Clinton in the counties that are home to Tampa, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee, which have much smaller Hispanic populations than Miami or Orlando.
Another top Democrat who was not named believes Biden must have ‘gotten obliterated by Hispanics’ who had fought against BLM and police reform efforts.
‘Defund the police killed us,’ the Democrat said. ‘We came out strong for BLM and then saw the Hispanic push back and went lukewarm and got killed.’
For months there had been complaints from Democratic Latinos that Biden was ignoring Hispanic voters and lavishing attention instead on black voters in big Midwestern cities.
Supporters, one holding a Venezuelan national flag, of President Trump rallied in Miami Wednesday morning
Trump’s messages about Biden being a socialist seemed to win over the Cuban and Venezuelan communities in Miami-Dade County despite Biden’s denials
Opinion polls in key states showed Biden under-performing with Latinos in the weeks leading up to the election.
A national exit poll by Edison Research showed that while Biden led Trump among nonwhite voters, Trump received a slightly higher proportion of the nonwhite votes than he did in 2016.
The poll showed that about 11 per cent of African Americans, 31 per cent of Hispanics and 30 per cent of Asian Americans voted for Trump, up 3 percentage points from 2016 in all three groups.
There were no signs of disruptions or violence at polling sites on Tuesday, as some officials had feared.
For months there had been complaints from Democratic Latinos that Biden was ignoring Hispanic voters and lavishing attention instead on black voters in big Midwestern cities
Biden put Trump’s handling of the pandemic at the center of his campaign and had held a consistent lead in national opinion polls over the Republican president.
But a third of US voters listed the economy as the issue that mattered most to them when deciding their choice for president, while two out of 10 cited COVID-19, according to an Edison Research exit poll on Tuesday.
Trump is seeking another term in office after a chaotic four years marked by the coronavirus crisis, an economy battered by pandemic shutdowns, an impeachment drama, inquiries into Russian election interference, racial tensions and contentious immigration policies.
Biden is looking to win the presidency on his third attempt after a five-decade political career including eight years as vice president under Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
He has promised a renewed effort to fight the public health crisis, fix the economy and bridge America’s political divide.