Did Democrats Lose Florida's Hispanic Vote?

Did Democrats Lose Florida's Hispanic Vote?

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
March 18, 2024

Minority groups have long been consistent voting blocks for the Democratic Party in virtually every part of the country.  However, Florida's Hispanic population has shown an unprecedented switch to the Republican Party in recent years and may have a new status quo.

Florida has always been a diverse state culturally, racially, and politically.  Former President Barack Obama (D) won Florida in both 2008 and 2012.

However, even when Florida was won by President Donald Trump (R) in 2016 and 2020, major pockets of the state with a notable Hispanic population were still very Liberal, like Miami-Dade County.

In 2016 Miami-Dade County was won by Hillary Clinton over Trump by almost 300,000 votes.  In 2020, this gap fell to only 85,000 votes to help President Joe Biden (D) beat Trump in the South Florida county.  2022 turned Miami-Dade County on its head when Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) became the first Republican governor in 20 years to win Miami-Dade County.

Just before the 2022 election, Biden had an approval rating of just 26% among Hispanic voters, a 30% drop from the previous year.  Although Democrats have insisted the 2022 election is an outlier and cannot predict how 2024 will go, polls have shown Trump currently leading Biden among Florida Hispanics 45% to 39%.

Since the 2022 midterms, it looks like this change is here to stay.  Experts are calling the shift a "realignment."  Co-director of Florida International University’s Latino Public Opinion Forum Eduardo Gamarra stated, "As far as Florida is concerned, it seems to us that there has been a political realignment and that there is a realignment towards the Republican Party with Latinos."

While the reason why is unclear, it is certainly worth noting the emphasis Trump Republicans put on bringing in new demographics of voters into the party, a sharp contrast to the pre-Trump GOP.  In 2020 the Latinos for Trump initiative in Miami to mobilize Hispanic voters was founded.

Whether it is the mobilization of Republicans in South Florida, or the lack of action from Democrats, conservatism among Florida Hispanics looks like it is here to stay.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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