Trump returns to the campaign trail, his base shifts, and 1.6 million Floridians have already voted
It's Monday October 12th and President Donald Trump will be in front of the White House in Florida today for his first personal rally since resuming his campaign following his diagnosis of COVID-19.
His arrival follows a trailer weekend in Miami, the intensified version of the political rally in the COVID era. On Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets to demand an anti-socialist and anti-communist caravan calling for the liberation of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua and warning the United States of the dangers of socialism.
And on Sunday, organizers touted a caravan of 1,000 cars owned by Joe Biden supporters as it snaked through Miami Springs, Cutler Bay, Doral, West Kendall, and downtown Miami.
Trump in Sanford: The President's Monday rally, originally scheduled for October 2, will take place at 7 p.m. at Orlando Sanford International Airport. Neither the Trump campaign nor the White House had indicated late Sunday whether additional security measures would be in place to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus among Air Force One travelers or attendees at the rally.
"I'm immune," the president said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, although questions about his health remain unanswered.
Debate Abandoned: The Presidential Debate Commission put an end to speculation about the debate between the presidential candidates at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami on October 15 and officially announced on Friday that the event would be canceled "for the health and safety of all concerned. The final presidential debate is scheduled for October 22nd in Nashville.
Biden Attacks on Cuba: Biden came to Miami last week for this first visit in more than a year. He attacked the tough policy of the president in America, saying that his opponent's tough talk and severe sanctions only entrenched the communist government of Cuba.
Rubio promotes Trump: On Sunday, Donald Trump Jr. and US Senator Marco Rubio were in Miami to counter this argument with a “Fighters Against Socialism” rally, which ended a bus tour in four cities for the president.
Voters Guide: For more information about the candidates on your ballot, see the Miami Herald's Voter Guide. It gives users an individual vote based on their address. The guide is a central resource that contains candidate profiles, voting information and candidate recommendations for the Editorial Board.
It also includes questionnaires we sent out to dozens of candidates who have participated in key races for Miami Dade voters and are available to our subscribers.
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT
People attend a naturalization ceremony to become American citizens at the U.S. District Citizenship and Immigration Office in Miami, Florida on Friday, October 2, 2020.
How determined are people to vote this year? Consider this scene: More than 200 immigrants became newly embossed U.S. citizens at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in Miami on the Friday before October 5. Naturalization in time for the elections was far from guaranteed after many coronavirus-related disruptions at USCIS delayed the citizenship ceremony.
Or this scene: After "unprecedented traffic" to the Florida State Department's voter registration website, which contained more than 1 million inquiries per hour, the website crashed on the last day of voter registration. The state was forced to extend the deadline by one day.
Registration scolding: A federal judge rejected calls by constituencies to further extend the registration deadline for voters. Judge Mark Walker also used the moment to beat the state up for “cannot run a functioning voter registration website” and because other elections have failed.
Trump's shrinking base: Survey respondents say they learned lessons from 2016 when they failed to place adequate weight on non-college voters who largely supported Trump. If we can trust the polls this cycle, they will produce some notable surprises. Most important to Florida is the seemingly shrinking advantage Trump has over voters who allied with him two years ago: voters over 65 and Cuban-American voters.
Among Seniors: Florida's older voters, who traditionally vote more often than any other age group, have shifted significantly from Trump to Biden, according to a recent series of polls. Trump won Florida in 2016 by just over 113,000 votes, but with nearly 330,000 votes. On the basis of the voting card, Trump's campaigning views Florida as a must-see for his re-election, so a significant drop in seniors' votes will require a necessary increase in another group.
Among Cuban Americans: A similar shift is taking place among Cuban-American voters, according to a poll by Bendixen & Amandi International and the Miami Herald released last week. While Cuban-American voters continue to favor Trump over Biden in Miami-Dade County's, polls found that more are moving towards the Democratic candidate, increasing his chances of winning the Florida battlefield.
Voting Fluctuations: The union representing health workers in Florida filed a lawsuit against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy last week, asking the court to order him to reverse actions alleging that they were mailing ballot papers delay and disenfranchised voters in Florida.
Virus jitter: The virus continues to disrupt the best plans. On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins' sixth week game against the Denver Broncos was postponed due to the New England Patriots COVID-19 outbreak.
Miami-Dade public schools reopened last week, bringing more than 140,000 students back to the schoolhouse. But intersection guards and masked smiles weren't all the students greeted as they entered campus. The district also faced the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the school system.
Shielding Deaths: The state of Florida continued to show the post-release transparency about the virus. A 23-year-old correction officer died after being exposed at work, but the state did not report this in its official report of the death in prison.
WHAT WE WATCH
1.6 million ballots cast: this is rubber that will fill the street time of this election cycle. As of Sunday, Florida had an impressive 1.6 million votes in email - 844,000 from Democrats, 485,000 from Republicans, and 310,000 from non-party voters. The personal early voting begins in a week.
Pandemic is the main problem: Voters tell survey participants that the main problems in this election cycle are the pandemic and the economic consequences that follow.
Then there is the little problem that the state's unemployment website is not working. The state of Florida admits it mistakenly paid unemployment benefits to people who weren't eligible and wants the money back but doesn't say if it knows how much it owes or how it is collecting it. The US Department of Labor estimates the cost at $ 25 million.
But are the candidates telling voters how they would use their position to address the main concerns? It's a mixed bag.
How many mailers have you received that do not mention the pandemic or the unemployment system? How many think the only thing you worry about is asking teachers to carry guns in school, disappoint the police, or a number of other misleading claims?
Deciphering these ads: We know that your digital and other mailboxes are likely to be overflowing with election attacks, swabs and appeals to support or reject a candidate or an election measure. The Miami Herald has put together a handy dial decoder that can help you learn more about who is behind these often mysterious mailers and advertisements. You can search our growing database for emails and mailers you receive at home.
Mayor's Race: Some candidates are seriously talking about how to deal with the pandemic and its aftermath. In the debate between Miami mayoral candidate Esteban "Steve" Bovo Jr. and rival Daniella Levine Cava, we heard them describe their different approaches to controlling the coronavirus in the county.
SD 39: In one of the most closely watched races in Florida's November 3rd election between MPs Javier Fernandez and Ana Maria Rodriguez for the seat of Senate District 39, which represents South Miami-Dade and all of Monroe County, the candidates won the vote What steps would you take to help those hardest hit medically and financially by the pandemic?
Rodriguez promises to "fix the unemployment benefits system", "enable small businesses to operate free from red tape and onerous regulations" and "use a data-driven approach to ensure the economy reopens in a timely and responsible manner". Wishing for more affordable housing, Fernández says that reopening the state must require better "worker protection" and that serious household chores must be carried out to address issues that are being ignored during the pandemic.
SD 37: Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez and Senate Democrats defend themselves against a challenge from Latinas for Trump founder Ileana Garcia. Rodriguez wants Governor Ron DeSantis to be made more accountable for how he handled the pandemic. Garcia, like most Republicans, is more interested in talking about fixing the flawed unemployment system.
HD 114: In House District 114, an open seat the House Democrats are trying to keep, Democrat Jean-Pierre Bado runs against Republican Demi Busatta. Both candidates agree that the state's beleaguered unemployment system needs to be corrected. However, they are taking very different approaches to helping pandemic-stricken small businesses. Busatta Cabrera wants regulation cuts, while Bado wants more small business loan programs.
HD 110: But in many races the candidates do not signal pandemic solutions. For example, Democrat Annette Collazo is leading Republican Alex Rizo again in House District 110 to replace José Oliva, the outgoing Speaker of the House. Both cite educational issues as a top priority.
Elderly Care Fs: Many other issues are at stake in this cycle. For example, know what your candidates are up to to improve the testing scheme that has forced so many nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and older communities in Florida to keep residents isolated even when COVID-19 cases are in their homes persist? Just last week, after months of senior lawyers calling for action, DeSantis announced that these homes will soon be able to run 15-minute COVID-19 tests on staff, patients and visitors. The federal government will pay for it.
Health Insurance Fs: Do you know what candidates will be doing in terms of health insurance? Or what will they do about Florida seeing the second largest increase in uninsured children in the nation in the past three years, according to a study by Georgetown University?
Environmental Issues: What do you know about what your state and local government should do about the polluting septic tanks that have become "ticking bombs" in the age of sea-level rise? For example, Miami-Dade County has a rule on the books that thousands of people would turn to sewers. Why don't you use this?
Tourism Questions: If you don't hear many answers, this is a sign that the answer will be difficult. Take, for example, the huge job losses in one of Florida's marquee industries, tourism. The workers wonder if there will be a future and struggle to make ends meet. After the election, these candidates are expected to find the solutions. Don't voters deserve to know what they're thinking now?
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