Days before the midterm elections, ethnic media is making predictions about the outcomes of such heated races. According to MIREMS’ previous research, the minority vote is extremely important and powerful, and race and ethnicity are likely to make a big difference in 2018 election outcomes.
As one of the most diverse states and the nation’s largest swing state, Florida’s demographics are key to determining the winners. MIREMS’ media consultants have been closely monitoring various ethnic media sources to convey essential opinions and predictions from different cultural communities.
Spanish media, mainly El Nuevo Herald and Diario Las Americas, report that DeSantis and his campaign devoted most of his time to presenting Gillum as a radical socialist. Many voters see a strong connection to Trump as an asset for DeSantis and Florida. Both Democrats and Republicans know that the Latino community is key in this election, as 31 percent of the electorate is shared between Cubans and Puerto Ricans, and 38 percent is from other nationalities in Latin America. According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, 837,000 Hispanics have registered as Democrats in Florida, 527,000 as Republicans and 775,000 as independents.
The New York based Russian language newspaper V Novom Svete named Florida one of the states that are “up for grabs,” where the chances of both candidates are approximately equal. It predicts that the Democrats may get a majority in the lower house, but the Senate will remain under Republican control. The Democrats have a much more difficult task than the Republicans: with a score of 50 to 50, they still will not have a majority, even if both independent senators support them. The Republican vice-president gives the Republicans a majority when there is a draw in the House. The newspaper reports that even though the lower house elections are much more complicated, the goal of the Democrats is still quite achievable. It states that in the eyes of many Americans, different parties controlling the two chambers is a blessing, a situation that forces lawmakers to seek compromises.
African American media sources, such as South Florida Times and Westside Gazette, mostly focused on the Amendment 4, reminding readers that one in 10 Floridians can’t vote because Florida is one of only four states where people with a previous felony conviction are permanently barred from voting. Under former Florida Governor Charlie Christ (Democrat), the Executive Clemency Board automatically restored rights of felons completing their sentences, who paid restitution with no pending charges. However, Governor Rick Scott’s Administration (Republican) eliminated those reforms. These newspapers believe that there is hope and state that Floridians can change the current situation with 60 percent of voters. Amendment 4 reached the ballot after more than 800,000 Floridians signed a citizen petition.
The Chicago Crusader named African Americans a “deciding voting block” in key races across the country, including Florida. However, forecasters also predict potential Black voter dropout, which is a serious issue.
Overall, more Americans are taking advantage of absentee and early voting this year, according to The New York Times. In 22 states and Washington, D.C., early voting counts have surpassed levels of the last midterms in 2014 and in some cases is nearing the total turnout seen four years ago. Florida is among those 22 states, advancing ballots cast in 2014 by 68 percent.
The Miami Herald reports that youth voter registration went up 41 percent in Florida after the Parkland shooting. Young voters, between the ages of 18 and 29, who make up 34.22 percent of voter registrations in Florida, could also tilt this year’s midterm elections in Florida. The Harvard Poll found younger voters favored Democrats over Republicans in the battle for Congress by a 66 to 32 percent margin.
MIREMS is following along with Florida’s tight race for governor as is most of the country. We’ll be sharing stories from the country’s Ethnic Media about the outcomes of the election. Stay tuned for more.
Written by Lina Katrin