President Donald Trump has won Florida and its 29 electoral votes, the Associated Press projects.
One of the key battlegrounds of the U.S. election, Trump led with just over 51 per cent of the vote compared to Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s roughly 48 per cent, with 91 per cent of the vote counted.
Florida was considered an essential piece of the electoral puzzle for Trump on his pathway to winning 270 electoral votes and a second term in office.
While Biden still has other roads to the presidency, the loss will be a major disappointment for the Democrats who had spent a significant amount of money trying to flip the state where Trump won in 2016. The Biden campaign had even sent former president Barack Obama to Miami the night before the election to drive up support.
A major factor for Trump’s victory appears to be Latino voters, especially Cuban-American voters in the Miami-Dade County area. According to the New York Times, Trump was over performing his 2016 vote totals in Miami-Dade with 512,000-plus votes so far counted in 2020 compared with about 334,000 total four years ago.
Republican Sen. Rick Scott was among the first to declare victory for the president, which prompted a warning from Twitter that “official sources may not have called the race.”
“We worked hard to deliver this state for President Trump and our voters SHOWED UP!,” he tweeted at just before 9 p.m.
Biden and Trump were locked in several close races in key swing states, with Trump also claiming wins in Ohio and Iowa while Biden won Minnesota and New Hampshire.
Races, meanwhile, were still too early to call in fiercely contested and critical battleground states, including North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Biden told supporters in Delaware to be patient and that it “ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”
“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election,” Biden said. “That’s the decision of the American people.”