Republicans score big gains in Florida

Republicans had a good night in Florida Tuesday, due to a massive turn out and some gains for the party in key groups.

Republicans made efforts targeting groups like Latinos and African Americans. Although President Donald Trump did not win either group over all, he did much better with those demographics than he did in 2016.

“This time, according to exit polls, President Trump did lose Hispanic votes but only by about 5% so really he did much, much better in the Hispanic community than he did just four years ago,” said University of Central Florida Political Science Professor Aubrey Jewett. “African American males were slightly more likely than they were 4 years ago to support Trump. So Trump still didn’t get much support in the black community, it’s about 90% or so for Biden, but among African American males he did a little bit better than he did 4 years ago.”

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Jewett said because of the large turnout in support for Trump, some congressional and state senate districts also flipped red.

“A lot of people showed up to vote for President Trump and while they were there, they voted for all those down-ballot races,” he said. “And most of them, if they voted for Trump, they went ahead and voted republican for those other races.”

Despite Republicans winning Florida for several recent election cycles, Jewett said the state remains a battleground state for state-wide races.  

“We have had a number of really close elections. Just recently in the last four years, Republicans have been able to come out on top, but that doesn’t mean that Florida’s not competitive and I would say Democrats still have a chance to win statewide elections. They just need to get better candidates, better message, better funding, they need to do a better job organizing and mobilizing their voters.”