Increases in Latino and African American Voters in Florida Give Obama Advantage!

I had to unlock the doors to The Student Operated Press offices (now in Texas) a trifle early this morning, in order to get out a report on the election in Florida. I was concerned about the long lines I was seeing for early voting (from news footage), and was afraid many people wouldn’t get a chance to vote.

Gov. Rick Scott has reduced the number of days for early voting from 14 to 8, even though the electorate is much larger now than in 2008. Another great concern, is this Spanish-language ad of Romney’s is running in Miami, linking Obama with Hugo Chavez, Mariela Castro, and Che Guevara. Pure sleaze and lies!

A poll just released a few moments ago (NBC/WSJ/Marist), shows Obama pulling ahead 49% to Romney’s 47%. Another poll (TBT/Herald/Mason-Dixon) has Romney ahead by 6, 51% to Obama’s 45%. Mason-Dixon leans to the right, so we can take that one with a grain of salt. Is Obama going to win in Florida after all?

florida early voting

I believe he will, but I’ve had to put my head to the grindstone for several days here to reach this startling conclusion. It’s all about geography, demographics, and campaign strategies of both parties, that sort of thing.

I have several reasons for why I’m concluding Obama will win in Florida. I’m looking at the long voter lines on Randy Kaye (CNN) even as I type. Citizens will not be denied in the Sunshine State, they have the right to vote, even if it does take all day! So it breaks down to heavy turn out, which will favor the Democrats.

When breaking down the labyrinthian and dynamic politics of Florida, it gets more difficult to slice up the pie. The game changer for me is seeing it happen right before my eyes! Well, a few more bits of data help me along the way (in gleaning what will happen on Tuesday).

florida map

Floridians (even conservative whites) will have a low opinion of Mitt Romney for slipping this Chavez/Castro/Che ads under the airwave radar in South Florida. Actually, the ad merely infuriates viewers, then they race right out and vote for Obama, who’s done nothing to court the Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez. And conjuring up images of Castro is old news (dating back to JFK), and does virtually nothing to move the needle in Romney’s direction. No, the inflammatory and misleading ad helps Obama (it motivates an enraged voter).

Romney had Florida in the bag a few weeks ago, but now it’s slipping away from him, so (it looks like) desperation is the only feeling behind the ad. Mitt’s going to lose Florida! Why, really? Ed Schultz had Annette Taddeo (chairwoman of the Miami Dade Democratic Party) on his show Thursday night and Annette explained some of the complex politics, with regards to Latino votes, that sheds some light on why Obama will win.

It’s not so much the Cubans who will make the difference, but rather the Puerto Ricans, who reside in large numbers in the middle of the state (the pivotal area known as the Interstate 4 corridor, that runs between Tampa and Orlando).

I suspected Annette Taddeo was right, but needed to look for other sources to confirm that, in the final analysis, it’s getting out the Latino vote that will make up the gap in Florida. I found what I was looking for with a Los Angeles Time piece published yesterday, Romney on a razor’s edge in Florida, by David Lauter (Washington Bureau). *My eyes opened wide when I realized that of a population of 19 million in Florida, Latinos make up 3.8 million, which is one fifth.

David Lauter did a great job of researching the Florida situation here and I’d like to thank him, since his piece has provided a good deal of lucidity; I can see the truth clearly now. (According to Lauter’s piece), Florida has added 300,000 Latino voters and 150,000 blacks since the 2008 election.

Obama won last time by 236,000 votes. 300,000 + 150,000 = 450,000. Immigration is the most important issue for Latinos! Thus, Obama will win. You might ask, will these new voters make it to the polls, and why? Affirmative, ‘cuz Rick Scott wants to block em. ‘Cuz Romney lies with Chavez/Castro/Che trash talk. You’re out of here, Mitt!

Sources: LA Times