President Trump won an impressive victory in his adopted home state. But the way he won is equally noteworthy. Here are five takeaways:
1. Calle Ocho called it: It was all about Miami-Dade County, and particularly the Cuban-American vote. Trump won nearly 200,000 more votes in Miami-Dade than he did in 2016. Biden only carried the county by about seven points compared to Clinton’s 29-point win.
2. Down ballot races: The strength of the Miami-Dade GOP turnout also impacted down ballot races as the GOP flipped two congressional seats Republicans lost in the blue wave 2018 midterm election.
3. Battleground counties: Trump’s stronger performance in Florida in 2020 wasn’t powered by pumping up his margins in GOP-leaning parts of the state, and he had mixed results in swing counties. Trump did about a percentage point worse this time around in all five Southwest Florida coastal counties. Trump lost Pinellas County in the Tampa Bay region, the state’s largest swing county, but won St. Lucie County.
4. Losing streak: Let the recriminations begin. Florida Democrats seemed to have found yet another way to again lose a statewide race. The party’s losing streak is now 12 of the last 13 statewide races since 2012.
5. The sound bite war: Trump and Republicans accused Biden of being a tool of radical socialists. Biden and Democrats accused Trump of being an authoritarian wanna be. The socialism sound bite carried the day.