With Americans increasingly saying the Democratic Party has moved too far to the left and record low unemployment levels among minorities, it's no surprise that a new poll shows President Donald Trump's standing among black and Hispanic voters in Florida has significantly improved since 2016.
According to survey data compiled by Florida Atlantic University and obtained by TheBlaze, regardless of whether Trump faces former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in November, he is poised to once again win the Sunshine State. In its poll of 1,200 voters, FAU found that Biden fared slightly better, losing 51 to 49 percent to Trump, compared to Sanders who trails the president by six points, 53-47 percent.
Best Hispanic numbers for a GOP presidential candidate since 2004
Trump's success in the key swing state is being driven by gains in black and Hispanic communities. While exit polls show that Trump won 35 percent of Florida's Hispanic vote in 2016, the March FAU study finds the president winning 45.4 of the coveted constituency to Biden's 54.6 percent.
Sanders — whose Feb. 23 comments praising the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's "literacy programs" sparked a major controversy on the campaign trail — would fare even worse against Trump among Florida Hispanics. The FAU poll shows Trump winning 47.5 percent of the Hispanic vote to the Vermont democratic socialist's 52.5 percent. The one-time front-runner's unpopularity with Florida Latinos is likely driven by the fact that over a third of the state's Hispanics are of Cuban ancestry who vigorously oppose socialism. Additionally, Miami-Dade and Broward counties contain large blocs of Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, and other immigrants who fled far-left regimes and are turned-off by Sanders' history of lauding Latin American socialists.
Both results for Trump — against either Biden or Sanders — would be the best showing for a Republican presidential candidate since 2004 when George W. Bush carried Florida with 56 percent of the state's Hispanic vote.
Socialism is also unpopular among black voters
The Democratic Party's leftward shift also appears to be alienating black voters in Florida. While the FAU poll shows both Biden and Sanders capturing the vast majority of the state's African Americans, they would do so by slimmer margins than past Democratic presidential candidates.
For instance, in 2016, Trump won 8% of black voters in Florida compared to Hillary Clinton's 84%. Fast-forward four years and Trump is standing at 18.1% and a whopping 27.3% against Biden and Sanders, respectively. Either would be a historic improvement for Republicans among black voters who make-up 14 percent of Florida's electorate.
Minorities are changing their minds
The FAU poll's black and Hispanic samples consisted of 157 and 247 respondents, respectively, which means a higher margin of error; however, the study indicates that minorities have warmed up to Trump since 2016.
Among the questions the researchers asked the voters was whether they voted for Trump or Clinton in 2016 and the results were consistent with 2016 exit polls with 30 percent of Hispanics and 10 percent of African Americans indicating they backed the president that year. These results could mean that Trump is winning over minority voters who backed Clinton in 2016; that he's expanding his base of support and attracting new black and Hispanic supporters; or both.
The survey was conducted March 5-7.