Will Trump win Florida? An update on the numbers
Florida is critically important for President Trump. Losing it is not the end of his re-election bid, but it will make the chance of winning the race reasonably lower (Trump can still get re-elected if he wins the remaining states he carried in 2016). In my previous analysis on the Florida race, I wrote that if Trump wins Florida, it will be due to the surge in Latino and black votes. So far, some indications point in that direction.
First, two days before Election Day, an AtlasIntel poll shows Joe Biden and Donald Trump tied at 49% each. But what is more interesting is the poll found that 52% of Florida's Latino voters will vote for Trump and just 42% for Biden. A poll released by Telemundo last week showed Biden leading Trump among Latinos just 48-43%. Clinton won Florida's Latino votes by 62-35 in 2016.
There are about 2.5 million Latino voters in Florida with 950K, and 640K are affiliated with the Democrats and Republicans, respectively, while 880K are unaffiliated. By Monday noon (11/02), partisan turnout among Florida's Latino voters is showing a 9% GOP advantage. If the GOP can maintain a 10-point voter turnout advantage (say, 68% to 58%), and the unaffiliated Latinos split 55-45 for Trump, Biden will win only 52% of the Latino votes versus 48% for Trump.
Secondly, also in the same poll released by Telemundo, among Cuban-Americans, Trump leads by a 48% margin (71-23)! It's a huge jump from his 13% winning margin in 2016. Given the huge gap in favor of Trump among the Cubans, the last-push effort in Florida is to increase their voter turnout. Fortunately, Cuban voter turnout has regularly been one of the highest among Latino eligible voter groups. In 2016, 58% of Cubans voted, compared with 46% of Puerto Ricans, which overwhelmingly vote Democrat. The voter turnout rate for Latino eligible voters overall was 48%. There are about 720K Cuban voters in Florida. Even with a 40% vote gap, with voter turnout 70%-80%, that amounts to Trump's advantage of 200–300K votes.
Thirdly, Democrats must score big in Miami-Dade County in order to compete in statewide races. In 2016, Clinton carried Miami-Dade by a gap of 290K votes. There are about 900K Latino registered voters in Miami-Dade County, and about a half of them are Cuban Americans. Again, if the voter turnout among the Cubans is around 75%, with a vote gap of 40% as indicated by the above poll, that could translate to Trump's net gain of roughly 135K votes in Miami Dade. For comparison, Trump won Florida in 2016 by 120K votes.
Fourthly, in the AtlasIntel poll 19% of black voters will vote for Trump. This is astounding! In 2016, he won 8% of Florida's black votes. There are plenty of reasons for blacks' rising support for Trump. But almost to reach the magic number of 20% is unthinkable.
In conclusion, Trump is well on his way to gain at least a 10-point increase in Latino and black votes combined. Both groups make up about 32% of the Florida electorate and will likely have the same share of the votes. This means that Trump can afford to lose white votes by 5 points (about 62% of the electorate in 2016) and still carry the Sunshine state.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.