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Poll: Biden May Not Be Winning Miami-Dade Big Enough To Take Florida – Especially Among Latinos

Joe Biden (left) still holds a small lead over President Trump in Florida in most polls.

Biden's lead over Trump in Miami-Dade is barely half of Clinton's eventual margin in 2016 – and Trump's ahead of him with the county's Latino voters.

It’s a maxim of modern Florida politics: if Democratic presidential candidates want to win the state, they’ve got to win big in Miami-Dade County. A new poll suggests Joe Biden isn’t winning Miami-Dade big enough — especially among Latinos.

The Bendixen & Amandi International/Miami Herald poll does show Joe Biden ahead of President Trump by 17 points in Miami-Dade. But four years ago Hillary Clinton beat Trump in Miami-Dade by almost 30 points — and she still ended up losing the must-win state of Florida by one percentage point.

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The poll suggests a lot of that Miami-Dade drop-off for Biden involves the Latino vote. Trump actually leads Biden with Miami-Dade Latinos, although just barely (47 to 46 percent). But among Cuban-Americans — Miami-Dade’s majority Latino bloc — Trump holds a commanding 38-point lead.

Biden is struggling with other Latino groups in Florida. A poll released last week by the University of North Florida shows two-thirds of the state’s Venezuelan voters prefer Trump.

Much of Trump’s Latino voter growth has to do with his tougher policies against authoritarian leftist regimes in Latin America. Biden recently began a new ad strategy that targets individual Latino communities more specifically.

Most polls do still show Biden with a small lead overall in Florida.

Tim Padgett is the Americas editor for Miami NPR affiliate WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida.