The civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton has blamed Republican propaganda for the lower than expected Latino Democratic election in Florida’s Miami Dade district. This was a major reason why former Vice President Joe Biden lost the decisive state to President Donald Trump.
“We don’t have the same momentum that we have in Florida where you have like in Miami-Dade. I think it was George who pointed out a great Cuban influence in relation to Cuban voters, who look more to the propaganda that we are dealing with socialism and everything. That made up for a large black voter turnout”.
Why it matters
The Democrats are looking for answers to Biden’s underperformance among Latino voters, particularly among men, who turned out to be Trump in larger numbers than expected. Observers and voices within the Democratic Party-including New York Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-have warned that Biden’s lack of appeal among Latinos is a serious problem.
Especially in southern Florida, the lower voter turnout of democratic Latinos meant that the president was carrying the state by a considerable margin. In the early evening, the alarm bells rang for the Democrats in Miami Dade, traditionally a big vote winner for the party, where Biden’s lead over Trump was much smaller than the one Hillary Clinton had in 2016.
The area is home to a large number of Latin American voters, including Cuban, Venezuelan, Colombian, Puerto Rican and Mexican communities, whether born foreigners or descended from previous immigrants.
The Cuban and Venezuelan exile communities are influential in state policy. Both fled from leftist governments in their home countries, making them fertile ground for the GOP’s warnings about the Democrats’ alleged socialist tendencies.
Sharpton made his remarks while discussing the pending vote in Georgia and North Carolina. In both states, Trumpf is slightly in the lead, which could prove decisive in the race for 270 votes in the electoral college.
Sharpton suggested that the outstanding votes would strengthen the Democrats once they were elected, since the areas that have not yet received all the votes include large black communities that he believes are less susceptible to the GOP’s “propaganda” on socialism.
It is not yet clear why Biden underperformed among Latin American voters and how much concern about socialism has driven Trump’s unexpected performance in this demographic.
But Biden fought for the Latino vote during the Democratic presidential primaries – an early warning signal that the Democrats could face demographics in the national race if Biden was the candidate.
The Trump campaign actively campaigned for these groups, which observers warned would be largely ignored by the Democrats. The tactic has paid off, yet could still be an important turn in the history of the 2020 election.
Biden’s lack of popularity with Latin American voters was an existing problem, even outside the largely inaccurate socialism slurs of the GOP on his platform.
Cuban Americans in particular were already leaning toward the Trump-Equis, said before the election that this group would drop about 20 points for the president. However, according to Mark Lopez, director of Hispanic Research at the Pew Research Center, this is partly explained by Trump’s anti-socialist rhetoric.
“Trump is clearly doing even better among Cuban Americans than some former Republicans,” Lopez told The Atlantic. “Biden’s weakness in Florida has something to do with the president’s antisocialist rhetoric.