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After a Big Trump Win, ‘It’s Really Hard to Argue Florida Is a True Swing State’


More concerning for Democrats, however, was that Mr. Trump also did better than four years ago across the state with non-Cuban Hispanic voters, who tend to lean more liberal. Exit polls conducted for the National Election Poll showed Joseph R. Biden Jr. falling short of 60 percent statewide with Hispanic voters, down from the two-thirds captured by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Luis Ruiz, 60, who is Colombian-American and registered without party affiliation, said he voted for Mr. Trump despite his disappointment in the president’s leadership during the pandemic. Mr. Ruiz, a resident of Miami, said Mr. Trump’s policy toward Latin America probably keeps left-wing governments in the region in check.

“Trump’s policy, in some way, benefits our countries,” Mr. Ruiz said.

As the results came in on Tuesday, vocal Democrats such as State Representative Anna V. Eskamani of Orlando, who is a member of her party’s more progressive wing, demanded a top-to-bottom rethinking of Democrats’ approach to political campaigns.

“There was a bloodbath in South Florida,” Ms. Eskamani said.

On Thursday, Terrie Rizzo, the chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, promised a “deep dive” into what had gone wrong.

Mr. Biden bested Mr. Trump in Miami-Dade County, but by a margin of only seven percentage points, performing worse than any Democratic presidential candidate since John Kerry in 2004. In 2016, Mrs. Clinton won Miami-Dade by nearly 30 points.

Mr. Biden improved on Mrs. Clinton’s performance in other places, including Duval County, home to Jacksonville; Seminole County, near Orlando; and Pinellas County, home to Largo, all of which flipped from Republican to Democratic. But those were modest gains at best, with Mr. Trump building on his lead even outside of vote-rich Miami-Dade.

Democrats had thought their chances had improved with Mr. Biden as their nominee. After all, he had been on the ticket with former President Barack Obama when he twice won Florida. But that was before the coronavirus pandemic froze Democrats’ efforts to register voters, campaign in person or lure Mr. Biden and his top surrogates to visit.



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