Miami-Dade County, which has recently been a Dem stronghold, is consolidating more and more around the President.
In a county where more than half of the residents are born outside the mainland U.S. — mostly in Latin America — Trump has outspent Joe Biden’s campaign by about $4 million on TV in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale media market, much of it on Spanish-language ads. The president’s conservative allies have dominated Spanish-language social media and WhatsApp messaging to Spanish-speakers. And the Miami-Dade County GOP has fielded at candidates in five key local races, all of whom are Cuban-American, which could help turn out the pro-Trump Republican vote.
A new poll of local voters found that Biden is underperforming Hillary Clinton’s 2016 margins over Trump in the county, where Democrats needed to run up the score to offset losses elsewhere.
“They’re not hearing enough from the Biden campaign, and I think the Biden camp has seen that and beefed up their programming the last two weeks to head into the general,” said Ricky Junquera, a state House candidate and vice-chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party. “I’m sure they’ve obviously identified that’s a problem and they need to correct that quickly.”
Miami state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Democrat, said the raft of polling and the late-breaking response to Trump’s threat in Florida has the party taking the matter seriously after months of discarding warnings.
“Some of us have been warning about this, but it was kill the messenger: ‘you just bitch about everything.’ And now they’re like ‘ahhhhh! What do we do?’” she said.
Denis Gomez, of Miami, wears a cape with the face of President Donald Trump as he stands in line outside of Miami’s King Jesus International Ministry church where Trump held a rally for evangelical supporters in Jan. 2020. | Lynne Sladky/AP Photo
Biden’s campaign has reacted by beefing up Latino staff in the state, and rapidly closing the gap in Spanish-language ads and ads run in Miami-Dade while dispatching running mate Kamala Harris in person on Thursday.
In the chess game that is the Florida campaign – a dead heat, according to an NBC News/Marist poll released Tuesday — Trump is wagering that, by competing so hard on what should be Biden’s terrain, it gives him room to go on offense in other parts of the state where Biden is running well with non-Hispanic white voters.
“We are focused on every part of this state, not ceding any place, and it would be politically foolish otherwise,” said Susie Wiles, who leads Trump’s campaign in Florida.
Trump’s traction with Cuban-American voters, who tend to vote Republican, is driving his gains in Miami-Dade. After drifting toward the Democratic side during President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 bids, many have returned to the GOP fold amid Trump’s crackdown on Cuba and his constant outreach. In Miami-Dade, about 72 percent of the registered Republicans are Hispanic, mostly Cuban-American.
“Throughout the 2016 election and during his time in office, President Trump has developed a personal connection with the Cuban community in Florida and he would never allow that to be ceded unilaterally to anyone,” Wiles said.”
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