In many previous presidential elections, Florida has been a vitally important battleground state. Not only does the state have 29 Electoral College votes, but whichever way the state swings tends to forecast how many of the other tightly-contested states will go.
President Donald Trump may have a “secret weapon” in Florida that will help ensure his victory: a majority of voters from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and other Latin American countries who came to the United States to escape the leftist socialism that destroyed their home country.
Trump “doing very well” with Venezuelan voters
In a recent MSNBC interview, former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), whose parents fled communist Cuba before he was born, spoke of how well Trump was doing in south Florida with voters from places like Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.
Asked about the impact Venezuelans may have on the 2020 race, Curbelo replied, “Without question, the president is doing very well with Venezuelans. The administration has done a good job of staying out in front of that issue, doing a lot of media events around the policy changes and initiatives that they’ve launched with regards to Venezuela.”
He continued, “[I]f you take Venezuelans alone, it is a smaller community. Now, in a state where elections get decided by very few votes, that can make the difference.” See the clip below:
Socialism is the key
There’s no evidence to suspect that Curbelo is being overly optimistic about the impact of the Venezuelan vote in Florida. Politico recently reported on trends among that voting bloc in the important swing state. Fear of socialism, communism and dictatorships — which many have seen firsthand– appear to be the driving force behind what drives their vote.
The unequivocal opposition to such leftist authoritarianism by Trump and his administration has earned the president many devoted supporters in south Florida among Venezuelans as well as Cubans and Nicaraguans.
Bolstering that support are Trump’s economic sanctions on Venezuela’s dictator Nicolás Maduro and support for the nation’s disputed opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as well as the president’s embrace of law and order, traditional family values and freedom, all of which render Trump as a bulwark against the socialist tyranny the Democratic Party is offering that many Venezuelans fled from.
Both campaigns courting the voting bloc
Politico noted that while the Trump campaign has courted the Venezuelan vote by portraying Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as a puppet of the socialist left, the Biden campaign has countered by casting Trump as an authoritarian strongman in the same mold as Venezuelan and communist dictators like Maduro, his predecessor Hugo Chavez or the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Politico also noted that Biden is under-performing with Latino voters in Florida compared to prior Democratic nominees.
Polling shows about two-thirds of Venezuelans in Florida are backing Trump, Express reported, suggesting that regardless of what the overall polls may say, the votes of Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Cubans and others who are strongly opposed to socialism may help the president carry the critical battleground state.