First Lady stumps in Miami, energizes crowd of 4,000 people

MIAMI -- First Lady Michelle Obama continued her swing through Florida on Thursday with a star-studded, energized campaign appearance at the James L. Knight Center in Miami.

Singers Marc Anthony and Maryel Epps, as well as actress Gabrielle Union were among the invited guests that encouraged a crowd of more than 4,000 people to vote for President Barack Obama on Election Day.

In Florida and across the country, Hispanics are a key voting bloc for President Obama, and though he is favored to win their support across the country on Election Day, some polls show it may be a tighter race in South Florida than some first thought.

The nation's fastest-growing minority tends to vote for Democrats, but in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood -- an epicenter of Cuban culture -- Cuban-Americans skew Republican.

Maria Rodriguez, a Miami resident and Republican, said Republican nominee Mitt Romney, not Obama, had put the best path forward.

"[He] is the president we need," she said. "Obama hasn't done the things he said he was going to do. Romney will."

A Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald/FIU poll released this week showed Obama had a narrow edge over Romney among Hispanics in Florida, 51 percent to 47 percent.

The poll found that if Cuban-Americans were taken out of the sample, Obama would have a 33-point lead over Romney.

"For him to keep it together in his term was a success itself, said Jose Rivas, a Miami resident and Democrat who voted for President Obama in 2008. "I don't think there could have been any candidate … besides him that kept this country together with the situation when he got it."

Obama is expected to campaign in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.

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