Republicans could be on the verge of taking Florida’s Miami-Dade County in Tuesday’s midterm elections, flipping a county that hasn’t voted for a Republican governor in 20 years.
“The way the numbers are going, they could absolutely win it,” Democratic State Senator Annette Taddeo told the New York Times on Saturday.
Taddeo fears a Republican victory in Miami-Dade as early voting data shows more registered Republicans than registered Democrats have currently voted, a potentially ominous sign for Democrats who depend on getting an early voting lead ahead of a wave of Republican votes on Election day.
Republicans have also begun to express optimism about their chances, with Lieutenant Governor Jeanette M. Núñez declaring during a rally last month that the GOP Miami-Dade County will win on Nov. 8.
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Such a result would be sobering for Democrats just six years after Hillary Clinton defeated former President Donald Trump by 29 percentage points in Florida’s most populous borough in 2016. The narrow loss in Miami-Dade provides a potential blueprint for that reach at large expand country.
“Republicans will feel emboldened and will take it as a playbook and go to communities across the country in Nevada and in California and in Virginia and in Pennsylvania,” Christian Ulvert, a Miami-based Democrat policy adviser, told the New York Times. “It should be a massive red flag for Democratic leaders across the country.”
While registered Democrats still outnumber registered Republicans in Miami-Dade County, pollsters are noting that Republicans enjoy a large lead in enthusiasm as they continue to push into populations that were previously reliably Democratic.
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“I know a lot of Jewish voters who used to be rock-solid Democrats who are now voting Republicans,” Evan Ross, a Democratic adviser who recently conducted a poll in Miami-Dade County, told the New York Times. “They believe the Democratic Party has not done enough to fight anti-Semitism from within.”
Republicans also have a year-round presence in Miami-Dade County, and party leaders are now hoping their years-long efforts can help turn the state’s most populous county red.
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“Republicans have played the long game in Florida, met Floridans wherever they are, and taken no voter for granted,” GOP spokeswoman Julia Friedland told the New York Times.
“The DeSantis agenda means more freedom,” a DeSantis campaign spokesman told Fox News Digital. “Miami-Dade County and the overwhelming majority of Floridians happen to appreciate someone who has protected our liberties, provided record-breaking tax breaks, defended parental rights, and made our streets safe. Governor DeSantis has delivered results for Florida and people clearly appreciate his leadership.”