MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The latest CBS News Battleground Tracker Poll in Florida shows the presidential race tightening in the hugely important state.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by two points, 48% to 46%, among likely voters.
At a honk for Trump event in Central Florida, organizers pointed to the number of honks as proof the president’s support is on the rise.
“Judging from what we see from passing people, we get about 90 percent support from passing cars,” said Tom Vail.
Among white Floridians, President Trump has a 22-point edge, according to the new poll of likely voters.
“I agree with his policies. I believe he’s very much more fit to run this country than Joe Biden is personally,” said Donald Sisk.
But to clinch the state, the president may need to win back support from voters like Dave Santarelli, who’s not sure he’ll vote for Trump again.
“I don’t like how he is on social media. You know, everyone that’s against him, he always has to blast them, you know, and I don’t think that’s a proper way of going about things,” he said.
In Florida, the president’s signature style is among the factors costing him support.
“It’s sad to see how divided we’ve become. He didn’t unify the nation,” said Santarelli. “He should have came on early and said, ‘Hey, we have to wear a face mask that’s the only thing we have against us right now to help us.’”
Among Hispanic voters, Biden has a 20-point lead, but that’s still less than Hillary Clinton received in 2016.
A group calling itself “Cubans with Biden” is honking horns too, trying to make gains in Miami’s Cuban community where support for Democrats could can be a hard sell.
At Coco Cutz Barber Shop, Cuban-American Angel Alvarez explained, “All my family’s going to vote for Trump. Maybe he made some mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. But to me, he’s defending our freedom and our rights. We want to be free – we don’t want communists here. we are Americans.”
Hurricane Maria, which heavily damaged the American commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 2017, may also impact Florida’s vote.
Tens of thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans resettled in Florida and were met by volunteers.
“They have arrived here and they have become active part of our communities,” said Frank Rivera, a resettlement volunteer.
For people gathering to commemorate the third anniversary of the hurricane in Kissimmee, the emphasis was also on voting.
“We need to come out and vote. We need to come out. This election is one of the most important for the people, for the Hispanic people for the minority people,” said Mildred Wright.
Still, it’s the economy that looms large. Florida’s unemployment rate more than doubled over the past year.
“I’m a furloughed person like so many others in central Florida. So, yeah, we are all concerned on when our jobs are going to come back,” said Joanne Finucane, a former cruise line worker.
It’s worth noting that the economy is still showing up as a win for President Trump in Florida, where 44% say he would help their family’s financial situations. For Biden, 34% give him nod.
Nearly 33,000 jobs were slashed in the hotel and culinary union. It has since hired some of its workers to stump for Biden.