South Florida Hispanic voters can make or break presidential election

All eyes on Trump's town hall in Miami
'Welcome to Little Havana' mural in Miami
Posted at 5:14 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 23:47:24-04

MIAMI — On the streets of Little Havana in Miami, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way of life. It's something voters want to hear more about from the presidential candidates.

"Obviously, the virus," said one voter.

"With COVID, it's affecting a lot of people," said another voter.

"COVID," said yet another voter when asked about important election issues.

All eyes are on NBC's town hall with President Donald Trump at the Perez Art Museum. It's a chance to get a closer look at the issues.

"Immigration is a very big topic to me," said a voter who only identified herself as Arely G.

Johnny Cardona, who calls himself "Big Papa from Little Havana," said he's wondering if he'll catch a glimpse of the president again this year.

"Four years ago, the motorcade passed through here," recalled Cardona. "He is welcome here."

Johnny Cardona, 'Big Papa from Little Havana'
Johnny Cardona, who calls himself "Big Papa from Little Havana," is a supporter of President Donald Trump.

According to the Pew Research Center, Latinos make up a record 17% of Florida registered voters this year. That's a slight uptick from four years ago.

"I mean, Miami is very important," said one voter.

Dr. Kevin Wagner, a professor at Florida Atlantic University and chair of the Department of Political Science, said both candidates have an opportunity with this key voting block.

"It's important to remember that Hispanic voters do not vote as a block," said Wagner. "Cuban-American voters are different than Puerto Rican voters, and you will see a lot of differences across the spectrum of Hispanic voters."

In the coming weeks leading up to the election, it is pretty certain both campaigns will zero in on the Hispanic vote in South Florida.