The Best Evidence That Hillary Clinton Has an Edge in Florida

Latinos in the key battleground state could make the difference.

Eric Gay/AP

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Florida is a crucial swing state with razor-tight margins—according to FiveThirtyEight, it’s the state most likely to tip the presidential election. In 2012, President Barack Obama won the state by just 74,000 votes out of more than 8 million cast. On Friday, new polling in Florida offers evidence that Hillary Clinton may have an edge against Donald Trump. The key is Hispanic voters.

According to the exit polls, Obama won 60 percent of Florida’s Hispanic voters while Republican Mitt Romney won 39 percent. In polling released Friday by Latino Decisions, a firm that focuses on the Latino community, Clinton’s lead is 14 points larger than Obama’s margin of victory; she’s beating Trump 62 percent to 27 percent. Florida’s Latinos, who make up about 15 percent of the state’s registered voters, are generally more conservative than the national Latino electorate, largely due to the sizeable and conservative-leaning Cuban population.

Given that the poll was conducted just before Trump’s hardline immigration speech in Arizona on August 31, it’s possible Trump’s numbers could slide further among Florida Latinos, Gabe Sanchez, a pollster with Latino Decisions, told reporters on a conference call Friday.

If Clinton can significantly outperform Obama among Latinos in Florida, that could give her a key edge in what is looking to be a tight—and critical—race in the Sunshine State.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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