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Weakened Latino support may have cost Biden Florida

'It reminds us of why we left our country,' Republican Glenn Parada says
Posted at 8:14 AM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 08:14:12-05

Florida Democrats are trying to figure out what went wrong Tuesday night.

Some are calling for a change of state party leadership. That comes after the president didn't just win the Sunshine State but did it by a bigger margin than 2016.

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As the blame game begins, a lackluster Latino vote is looking to be one of the biggest fumbles for Democrats in this election cycle.

The demographic has traditionally been a bounty of reliable blue votes in Florida, but this year Joe Biden underperformed with Latinos. Exit polls suggest a 10-point loss compared to Hillary Clinton's Latino numbers four years ago.

Florida political expert Carol Weissert points to the Miami-Dade County area as an especially bad result. There, Trump was only about eight points behind Biden after losing the county by nearly 30 points in 2016.

"This is not a good morning for the Florida Democratic Party," said Weissert, a Florida State professor. "Republicans really had a Hispanic ground game for four years. The Democrats were kind of Johnny-come-lately."

Glenn Parada
Glenn Parada with the Florida Republican National Hispanic Assembly, says President Trump's strategy to compare Joe Biden as a socialist dictator effectively pushed more Latinos to vote for the president.

Biden spent time campaigning for votes from Black Americans. Trump, meanwhile, used the GOP ground game to court Latinos like Cuban-Americans. He also unleashed attack ads likening Biden to socialist dictators.

Glenn Parada is a political strategist for the Florida Republican National Hispanic Assembly. He predicted this outcome, saying the message was resonating.

"It reminds us of why we left our country," he said. "We don’t want that. That's why we're here. It's definitely something we consider, and we're going to vote not for [it] but against.”

The Biden campaign has dismissed the Latino losses. Manager Jen O'Malley Dillon told reporters Wednesday the vice president didn’t underperform. Instead, she suggested Trump "increase[d] his support with the Cuban-Americas vote."

Either way, the result was the same. Florida's 29 electoral votes will head to Trump.