The headline read, “Trump, Clinton Take Florida.” The time was barely 7:30 pm. The polls had been closed for just 30 minutes and already there were victory speeches everywhere on-line. By 8 p.m., Marco Rubio was conceding his loss in his home state to a raucous audience of disbelievers who found it difficult to accept Marco’s defeat, and his acknowledgement that The Donald had accomplished a “big win.” Moments later, he showed us just how big a win it actually was as Rubio announced he was dropping his run for the White House.
That being said, the election results in Florida hid far more information than the winners’ tallies revealed. The Florida Agenda conducted its own non-scientific exit poll research and learned some rather unexpected information.
Out of all the stats that held elections last Tuesday, Florida was the only one that had a majority of Black and Latino voters making the trip to the ballot booth. Among Democrats, Black voters comprised 27% of the total; while Latino voters measured 20%, while Asians acc. Among Republicans that number was lower: 1 in every four.
These voters, and the while and Asians who joined them had pre-determined their candidate of choice long before voting day. In the Sunshine State, only one in 10 decided on the spot for whom they were casting their vote. (In other states, polls suggested that it was one in five.)
As expected, Hillary Clinton scored extremely well with women in Florida, including the lesbian vote which was heaviest in Palm Beach County. 68% of women voted for Clinton, while 61% of men casted their ballot for the former Senator from New York.
White evangelicals made up a full third of the Republican voters in Florida, and Ted Cruz is the prime Republican evangelical candidate, yet Cruz did not carry a single Florida county. Even Marco Rubio managed to only win a single county—Miami-Dade, with an impressive 62% of the vote.
Clinton, on the other hand, won in every county in Florida with the exception of a handful up north: Holmes County (Bonifly is the county seat) where Sanders scored with a total of 51.7%; Calhoun County, with Blountstown, where Sanders won 49.25%; Liberty County (Bristol) where he scored 47.1%; Suwannee County (yes, there is a Suwannee River) 44.3%; Lafayette County (Mayo), 50.9%, Gilchrist County (Trenton), 50.7%; Dixie County (Cross City), 45.1%, Baker County (McClenny).47.4%; and Union County (Lake Butler) and home to Florida’s death row, 51.6%.
While that may seem like a substantial win, it is small change when compared with the 60 other counties in Florida—all won by Clinton.
Hillary’s total delegate count now stands at 1606, compared with Sanders 851. Unless there is a HUGE stumble along the way, it is now statistically a near impossibility for Sanders to successfully win enough remaining delegates to surmount Clinton’s lead.
For all his bluster and bravado, Trump is in a far less enviable position. He has locked down a large plurality of voters on the right, it is not nearly enough to convince his base, let along his own campaign committee, that he is invincible. And his position appears to be weakening.
Trump’s delegate count currently stands at 673, with his closest competitor Ted Cruz scoring in at 411. Marco Rubio’s delegate count of 169 are far more likely to drift toward Cruz than Trump, moving his total closer to 580.
Expect to see the LGBT community rolling out it voting machine, attacking Trump on his own platform which once gave confidence to gay voters. No longer. Trumps waffling on same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination bills will likely cost him dearly in the months ahead.
According to the New York Times, in every state that voted on Tuesday except for Florida, about two in five Republicans said they would consider voting for a third-party candidate over Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton in November.
It’s little wonder that Hillary was smiling ear-to-ear in West Palm Beach on Tuesday night. She called for a president that will “defend our country and not embarrass it.”
And then she launched into her attack on Trump: “When we hear a candidate for president call for rounding up 12 million immigrants, banning all Muslims from entering the United States, when he embraces torture, that doesn’t make him strong, it makes him wrong,” she told the crowd.
Echoes of cheers from the standing-room-only crowd at the Palm Beach Convention Center are still resonating throughout the state.
Photo Credit: eonline.com