Going into Tuesday, Republicans were openly mocking polls showing Joe Biden with an average national lead of seven points over President Donald Trump and state polls that showed him trailing in battleground states, including Florida.
The size and enthusiasm of Trump’s 14 rallies in battleground states during the closing days, including a raucous midnight gathering in Opa-locka, had Democrats worried. While Florida Democrats had sufficient cause to worry, late-night developments now point to President-elect Biden.
With the rest of the state performing similarly to 2016, Democratic fears of an underperforming Miami-Dade County were justified as it led to a 3.5% Trump victory overall. It also cost two South Florida Democrats their House seats (see “South Florida flips” below).
The national race is strikingly similar to 2016. Trump lost the popular vote that year by 2.1%, and by Wednesday morning in 2020, he trailed by 2%. In the end, close losses in Rust Belt states he won two years ago appear to be denying him a second term.
As Republicans feared,