We are learning a lot from last Tuesday, and while President Obama won’t be on the ballot in 2014, here is my first key litmus test based on the results:
Can You Energize Miami-Dade (and Hispanic Voters)? If not, don’t apply.
Miami-Dade makes up about 10% of registered voters and is trending more and more blue.
In 2010, Alex Sink took 56.21% of Miami-Dade, banking 69,720 votes. Last Tuesday, Barack Obama took 61.57%, for a total margin of 207,259. If you assume non-Presidential year turnout, at 61.57%, Sink could have banked 26,208 more votes in 2010. Remember; Sink only lost by 61,550 statewide and it’s not like Rick Scott was doing anything to earn the support of Hispanics in Florida.
In 2014, Democrats need a nominee that will match or exceed 61% in Miami-Dade.
Obviously, Hispanic voters have a large part to do with these margins. Exit polls show that statewide, 62% of Hispanic voters voted for President Obama (57% in 2008) and made up 17% of the electorate (14% in 2008).
It’s not just Miami-Dade, but that’s where the margins can run up numbers the fastest. Orange County is obviously important and increasingly areas like Osceola County.
Statewide, the nominee will have to maintain margins in Palm Beach, Broward, continue successful neutralization of Duval and slight margins in Hillsborough. But my first question to a potential 2014 candidate will still be: how are you going to energize Miami-Dade and Hispanic voters? If they can’t answer, they can’t win.
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