Part of this was due to declining Democratic support among Latino voters. In 2016, 62 percent of Latino voters in Florida filed for bankruptcy for Ms. Clinton, according to exit polls; two years later, only 54% voted for the Democratic governor and Senate candidates.
Mr. Trump has worked to strengthen his support among Cuban Americans in particular, and his claims that Democrats are flirting with socialism may have a special resonance with these voters, many of whom are from families who fled the Castro regime. . But it wasn’t just among Cuban Latinos that Democratic margins suffered in 2018.
While the Democratic vote generally increased elsewhere, in the three counties in Florida with the highest Hispanic populations, it was down from two years earlier. One of those counties, Miami-Dade, has a high concentration of Cubans, but the others, Osceola and Hendry, are more heavily Puerto Rican and Mexican-American.
Mr Biden was not the first choice of the Latin American community in the Democratic primaries, and his lead over Mr Trump among Latino voters has been unreliable since becoming the candidate. This has been especially true in Florida, where some polls have shown it to be indeed linked to Mr. Trump.
“We’ve known for some time that Biden was unlikely to hit Clinton’s numbers in 2016, but the goal would be to do better than Nelson and Gillum in 2018 and be more in tune with Obama’s situation. in 2012, ”said Carlos Odio, founder of EquisLabs, a Latin liberal-leaning research company. That year, the polls gave President Barack Obama a 21-point lead over Mitt Romney.
So far, Mr. Biden has failed to do this. Averaging the results of the Monmouth, Marist and Quinnipiac polls this week, Mr Biden led just 12 points among the Latinos.
Latino voters now account for about one in five votes in Florida, double their share just 20 years ago.