Florida Dems 'Aghast' at Biden’s Performance With Latinos

Joe Biden Campaigns In Warren, Michigan
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September 15, 2020

A top Florida Democratic strategist said he is "shocked" at Joe Biden's failure to win over Latino voters in Florida.

"Not only am I surprised. I’m shocked. I’m aghast. It’s perplexing," said Fernand Amandi, a Democratic strategist and Florida pollster, in an interview with Yahoo News. "There were plenty of times and plenty of opportunities to have addressed the situation earlier rather than trying to salvage it at the 11th down."

The poll, which surveyed 500 voters, shows Biden beating President Donald Trump in the reliably Democratic Miami-Dade County by 17 points—13 points below the number Hillary Clinton bested Trump by in the 2016 election. Amandi expressed concern that this could spell disaster for Biden in the Sunshine State.

"If Biden under-performs in what should be one of his strongest counties—and is certainly the largest county for Democratic votes in the state of Florida—it might imperil his chances of winning Florida unless there is a massive white voter exodus from Trump in other parts of the state," he said.

Concerns over Biden's lagging Latino support came to the fore last week as other polls revealed Trump ahead of Biden with Latinos in Florida by four points. On Sunday, Biden campaign surrogate Rep. Val Demings (D., Fla.) responded to the news by saying that the former vice president would be taking "no one for granted" in the state.

Though Clinton lost Florida in 2016, she won 60 percent of the Latino vote, while Biden has the support of only 46 percent of Latinos there, according to the most recent polls. CNN's Harry Enten also wrote Tuesday that Biden's problem with Latino voters goes beyond Florida and has shown up in his polling analyses going back to June. Biden is leading Trump among Latino voters nationally by about 28 points, which is significantly lower than the 37-point advantage Hillary Clinton had over Trump with Latinos in the 2016 election.

The Biden and Trump campaigns have spent tens of millions in Florida and are looking to continue to flood the airwaves in the final weeks leading up to Election Day. At this point in the race, the Trump campaign has bought $16 million more in airtime.

Biden's flagging performance in Florida prompted former New York City mayor and failed 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg to promise to spend $100 million in Florida to elect Biden.