South Florida, that blue electoral island separating the rest of the state from the Caribbean, was supposed to hand the nation’s biggest political prize — and therefore the presidency — to Hillary Clinton.
The votes poured in on Election Night Tuesday: about 575,000 more for Clinton than Donald Trump in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties. That was more than 100,000 votes better than President Barack Obama, who defeated Mitt Romney by about 472,000 votes in the same media market four years ago.
Trump took Florida, in spite of record Miami-Dade and Broward turnout and a Hispanic voter surge across the state. The two developments, revealed in demographics of voters casting early ballots, had suggested an insurmountable Clinton advantage in a state Trump simply could not lose.
Both trends were real. But after all the stories about the dying Cuban-American Republican vote in Miami and the rising Puerto Rican Democratic vote in Orlando, other Florida factors proved to be more important.
“It’s a math equation,” Susie Wiles, Trump’s Florida campaign chief, said Wednesday. “If you’re a Republican and you want to win, you have to figure out a way to have an urban and suburban strategy. But that only works if you can run up the score.”
Photo credit: Pedro Portal, Miami Herald