Speed Reads

election 2020

Why Biden looks shaky in Florida

An hour after polls closed in Florida, Joe Biden was "overperforming everywhere" in the state except for Miami-Dade county — which "might be enough to doom him," The Boston Globe's Michael Cohen tweeted. Of particular concern to Biden's supporters was the dreaded New York Times election needle, which had the state as "very likely Trump" with 86 percent of the state reporting. As the paper's Nate Cohn explained, "Trump is doing way better than '16 in Hispanic and Cuban areas, and better in Black areas. Biden is doing better in older, white areas, but not by as much."

The news might not be a surprise to Democrats on the ground in Florida, who were "sound[ing] the alarm in Miami" in the days leading up to the election, Politico reports. "Look, our people hate Trump and they like Biden. But not enough of them love Biden," one South Florida organizer had told the publication. "It also doesn't help that the campaign reacted so late here and they didn't help us with voter registration when we needed to be doing it."

Still, there is some reason to approach the early numbers out of Miami-Dade with caution; the numbers reported as of 8 p.m. ET include "ALL early in-person votes (expected to skew GOP) but only partial mail votes (expected to skew Dem)," Vice News' Cameron Joseph explains. "Dunno how much is out or how much ground Biden can make up but this isn't final."

But if Biden does lose Florida? According to FiveThirtyEight, it would change Trump's chance of winning from 10 percent to 33 percent — in addition to likely making the night a whole lot messier, since Florida was probably needed for a surefire Biden landslide. Still, Democrats ought not despair just yet; as Nate Silver points out, "Trump's overperformance ... looks mostly to be concentrated among Cubans, which may not tell us much about other states." Jeva Lange