Early Voting Starts in Florida with Record Number of Registered Latino Voters

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Photo courtesy of nbcmiami.com

Not only are positive cases of coronavirus increasing in Florida — but the number of registered Latino voters is also growing.

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 2.5 million Latinos are registered to vote in Florida for the 2020 presidential election, a record 17% of the state’s total.

“Nearly 476,000 additional Hispanics are registered to vote in Florida in 2020 compared to 2016, accounting for 30% of the state’s overall growth in registered voters during that span,” the Center explains.

Between 2012 and 2016, the number of Hispanic registered voters in Florida grew by 364,000, and between 2008 and 2012, it grew by 305,000. Although those figures are as of the “book closing” date of October 6, they coincide with the general election’s final voter registration figures on November 3.

However, this election has nothing to do with what we have experienced in previous periods especially in Florida.

In early September, and while polls showed that President Donald Trump was still leading the Latino vote (two points higher than in 2016), the polls also showed that the same was not true in Florida, where, despite the Trump campaign’s efforts to gain the support of conservative Cubans and Venezuelans, something was changing.

As Vox explained, the Biden campaign should focus on achieving large margins in diverse and deeply Latino districts, from Palm Beach to Miami, as the state puts 29 electoral votes into play.

The former vice president’s campaign also needed to understand that Latinos’ political leanings are particularly diverse in Florida, with populations from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Mexico, and other parts of Latin America.

So, while President Trump focused on associating the Biden campaign with the specter of socialism among Cuban and Venezuelan voters, the Democrats mobilized their machinery toward issues closer to the people, such as health care, jobs, and, obviously, the coronavirus pandemic.

“For Biden to win in Florida, he has to accomplish what very few Democratic campaigns have been able to do: increase voter turnout among non-Cuban Latino voters, who tend to be more favorable to Democrats,” The Atlantic explained.

Now, despite the disinformation campaigns that Latinos in Florida are victims of, Trump also faces a Republican bloc against him, with movements like the Lincoln Project that could easily turn the sunny state blue.