- Luis Fajardo
- BBC News World
Thanks for the Miami-Dade District.
That was one of the first sentences in the victory speech Ron DeSantis To celebrate his re-election as governor of Florida on Tuesday night. It wasn’t for less.
In a situation not seen since 2002, the Florida major city voted by a large majority of Republicans in Tuesday’s election. become miami The main Latin-majority city in the United States where Republicans rule.
Roughly 70% of Miami-Dade County’s population is Hispanic, and among that group, nearly half are Cuban-American.
And the city today is the clearest sign of an electoral earthquake that has changed American politics: the realignment to the right of a significant portion of the country’s Latino electorate.
turn (to the right)
It is a particularly heartening victory for the Republicans. For decades, it was recognized that the Latin American vote tilted toward the Democratic Party.
As the country’s Latino population grew, Democrats viewed this segment of the electorate as a sort of guarantee of an increasingly promising future for them nationally.
The Cuban community in Miami has always been more conservative than other Latino groups in the country. But since the beginning of the new century, young Cuban Americans, who seemed to be moving left, along with other groups such as African Americans and progressive whites, contributed to making Miami the largest Democratic stronghold in Florida, which in turn was the country’s main electoral battleground. .
The defeat of the Democratic candidates in Miami on Tuesday leaves that narrative into question.
Miami-Dade County, the heart of Florida’s largest metropolitan area, voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday for Governor DeSantis to replace Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.
Partial results Tuesday night, according to county officials, indicated an already untraceable lead of 55% for DeSantis to 43% for Crest.
By contrast, during his first gubernatorial election in 2018, DeSantis lost the Latino vote in Florida by 10 percentage points.
The last time a Republican candidate for governor won in Miami was in 2002, when Jeb Bush was the Republican nominee.
This Tuesday, other election results in Miami were equally disappointing for Democrats.
The senator was the winner. blond framewas re-elected to represent Florida, over Val Demings, an African American who was seen as one of the rising figures in the Democratic Party.
In the contest for the House of Representatives of the US federal legislature, conservative Cuban congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar defeated Democrat of Colombian origin, Annette Tadeo.
“The Republicans don’t know it.”
Salazar celebrated his victory at La Carita, an emblematic restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, telling the media that “this election proves what Ronald Reagan said, that Latinos are Republicans, but they don’t know it yet.”
The Republicans’ big advance in Tuesday’s election in Miami shows their strength among Cubans, but they also appear to be popular with other Latino groups such as Colombian and Venezuelan voters.
It is not a phenomenon that occurs from day to day. Republicans have been building their power in Miami for more than a decade.
While in 2012, nearly 50% of Cuban Americans voted for the presidency for Democrats Barack ObamaIn 2016, only 41% did so for Hillary Clinton.
This translated into increasingly close elections in Miami.
If this trend continues, the Republican presidential candidate is likely to win that city in 2024, virtually ensuring that Florida, the third largest state in the country, will be in the conservative column as well.
If the trends seen in Miami continue to spread to the rest of the country, the electoral consequences could be profound. Latinos, who make up 19% of the total US population, are the largest ethnic minority in the country.
The growing conservative bias among Latinos is strengthening the Republican position in other states with large Latino populations such as Texas and Nevada.
There is more and more clarity about the reasons for this mass exodus of the Democratic vote to the Republican side.
Many Cuban-American or South American voters in Miami do not share the existential concern about immigration issues that characterizes other Latino groups in the rest of the country. This is why they are not afraid of the rhetoric against illegal immigrants that has become so important to Republicans since Donald Trump came to power in 2016.
Instead, the Republicans’ anti-socialist rhetoric resonates with many of those Latinos who fled their country to escape the left-wing governments that frightened them.
The conservative stance on cultural and religious issues also suits many Latinos.
Finally, many analysts say, Republicans have been more effective and disciplined for years in attracting Latino votes in Miami and elsewhere.
For years, Democrats assumed Latinos were automatically theirs.
Today it is clear that this is not the case.
In 2024, Joe Bidenor whoever the Democratic presidential candidate is, should work to prevent Latinos, the group that was supposed to be their party’s long-term salvation, from becoming the one who hands the White House to Republicans instead.
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