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Election Day Recap For South Florida And The State’s Impact On National Politics

Emily Michot
Miami Herald
A stack of freshly cut and bundled mail ballots is ready for shipment in the finishing and packaging department at Miami-Dade’s Internal Services Department print shop Monday, Sept. 24, 2018.

President Donald Trump wins Florida. We hear from some local winners and look at how things went down on Election Day in South Florida.

On this Wednesday, Nov. 4, episode of Sundial:

Winners Throughout South Florida

Although it’s still unclear who the President-elect will be, there were several close congressional, state senate, and mayoral races throughout our four counties.

WLRN’s Luis Hernandez spoke to some of the winners who emerged last night and discussed their plans for their upcoming terms in public office.

WLRN is committed to providing South Florida with trusted news and information. In these uncertain times, our mission is more vital than ever. Your support makes it possible. Please donatetoday. Thank you.

Excerpts from those conversations are below.

WLRN: Broward County is, again, showing strong support for Democrats. But Republicans did make a surge in Miami-Dade County. What do you make of that?

CONGRESSMAN TED DEUTCH (D): Florida is always close. I lost two very good, talented, capable colleagues from the House last night because of what happened in Miami-Dade County. But going forward, we're going to have to look to respect the outcome of this election.

And as disappointed as I am in those races, I look forward to serving with the new members, just as I know everyone who voted for Donald Trump in Florida, a state that he won, will respect the outcome if Joe Biden is the next president.

Your district has one of the highest proportions of enrollees in the Affordable Care Act. Is Obamacare something that you would support or is it something you want to see replaced?

CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT MARIA ELVIRA SALAZAR (R): Obamacare is all we have, right? So we need to keep that until we have something better. Republicans and the Democrats can come together and sit at the table and figure out a better plan, which I would believe needs some competition, some transparency. Big pharma needs to be looked at. We need to create a better plan for everybody.

And how do you do that? With the forces of competition. If you like Obamacare, you keep it. But in the meantime, we've got to give you another option that's cheaper. That's what’s common sense, which is the least common of all sense for politicians.

What’s your first priority once you take office?

MIAMI-DADE MAYOR-ELECT DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA (D): We need to appoint a chief medical officer. I promised that on the campaign trail and that will be a person who will guide me every day on facts and science to make sure that we're doing it right.

I'll be calling together a recovery task force of people who can help us with the economic issues. We've got our small business community. We have hospitality, our real estate, our financial sector, our public sector, as well as future investments in infrastructure and innovation.

We're still a very desirable place for businesses to locate. And there's a lot of that going on right now. And we want to plug that and rebuild our hospitality industry as well, because we are open to businesses taking precautions.

A lot of people are still out of work as we're still battling with this pandemic. Are there conversations in favor of another economic stimulus?

CONGRESSWOMAN LOIS FRANKEL (D): I see that as a must. First, the best economic stimulus will be to get COVID-19 under control. That means we have reliable quick testing, contact tracing and make sure people are following the CDC guidelines, like washing their hands — that cannot be emphasized enough. Obviously, continuing the research on therapeutics, that's going to be the best way to eventually get back to a normal economy.

In the meantime, there are millions of people in this country out of work, including in the state of Florida. People are suffering and can't pay their rent or their mortgage. People are not able to put food on the table or pay any of their bills. We must get money back to our constituents as soon as possible, directly to their pockets, at least the unemployment insurance payments now and helping small businesses. This is the backbone of our country. They need help now.

Winners Throughout South Florida
Stock photo of voting stickers at early voting site in Miami Beach, October, 2020.

We also heard from WLRN reporters for a recap of Election Day in South Florida. Here are some of the updates on races and ballot items across our region:

Election Day Recap
Biden supporter.jpg

The State’s Impact On National Politics

Regardless of the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election, we know this has been a historic race.

There were record levels of voter turnout in Florida and elsewhere around the country with the coronavirus and the economy as the top issues motivating voters, according to exit polls.

A lot of questions remain about the future of the GOP and the Democratic Party in the Sunshine State.

“Kind of a surprise though, I mean 3.5 percent margin victory for Donald Trump, it looks like, we’re still waiting for some of the final tallies, but [that’s] a landslide. He won 58 out of 67 counties and it really was a tough night for Joe Biden in South Florida particularly,” said Kevin Walsh, a political science professor at Broward College.

We spoke with Walsh about Florida politics in the national context, as the 2020 election season continues.

Florida's Impact On National Politics
Trump supporters at the John F. Kennedy Library site in Hialeah.

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Suria is Sundial's fall 2020 high school intern and a production assistant.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the lead producer behind WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.