Democrats fear that traditionally liberal Miami-Dade County is in the midst of a major realignment toward the Republican Party, the Washington Post reported.
The left-leaning newspaper pointed out that voter enthusiasm for Democratic candidates is plummeting in Florida’s most populous county, especially for the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) , who polls show is trailing incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis by double digits. (R) statewide.
An independent county voter, Noel Chavez, 49, told the Job that while he will disagree with DeSantis and incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on all issues, he will vote for both in this year’s mid-term cycle, citing that inflation and economy are at the top of his mind.
“I don’t like everything about Ron DeSantis, but Charlie Crist is a joke,” Chavez said. “I like Democrats outside of Florida, but the Democratic Party just doesn’t have good leaders in Florida.”
While Hillary Clinton won Miami-Dade by nearly 30 points in 2016 and DeSantis lost by more than 20 points in 2018, Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign made significant inroads within the Hispanic community – the most populous ethnic population in the county – and bridged the gap between the two. started from just over seven points.
Since then, Hispanic support for Republican candidates has skyrocketed and could lead to one of the biggest Republican Party victories in the Sunshine State in recent memory.
A recent Telemundo/LX poll found that DeSantis leads Crist among Hispanic voters by 51% to 44%, and 72% of Cuban-American voters support the current governor. Coincidentally, the Miami metropolitan area contains the largest Cuban-American population in the country, Breitbart News pointed out.
It’s not just Cuban Americans who are breaking for DeSantis, as 56% of Hispanic voters born in another country choose the incumbent governor over Crist. DeSantis also leads Crist — 56% to 34% — among independent Hispanic voters.
Additionally, while Democrats still lead Republicans in voter registration in Miami-Dade, Republicans now lead Democrats among Hispanics in voter registration in the county.
Realignment is not just happening within federal or state politics, but also at the local level. Last summer, the Miami-Dade County School Board turned conservative and is now the largest school district in the nation with a majority conservative board, Breitbart News reported.
While Republican operatives say Trump and DeSantis deserve credit for expanding the GOP tent to include new Hispanic voters in Miami and across the state, unpopular Democratic policies simultaneously don’t resonate with Hispanic voters, according to Giancarlo Sopo, a Republican media strategist who led Trump. National Hispanic Advertising 2020.
“Governor. DeSantis is winning in Miami because his program is popular and his opponents are walking arroz con mango,” Sopo told the Jobusing a Cuban phrase that means “a messy situation”.
“Democrats could seriously address their issues with Hispanics, but they’d rather blame their losses on ‘misinformation’. It helps them save face with donors, but there’s an electoral price to being so out of touch with reality” , he added.
As Republican support grows in Miami-Dade and Democratic support flounders, a registered Democrat told the Job she is unconvinced of her party’s chances of taking over the governorship and Rubio’s seat in the Senate.
“There’s no getting around it. Before it was a messy state, but I would say it’s not even close,” said Mauricio Restrepo, a teacher.
“All Republicans are going to win for sure,” she added.
Restrepo’s prediction may turn out to be accurate, as multiple polls show DeSantis and Rubio holding leads over their Democratic opponents heading into Election Day on Nov. 8.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.