MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump won the state of Florida, in large part, due to a huge Republican showing in Miami-Dade.

Even though former Vice President Joe Biden won the county, he missed out on critical votes that ultimately led to Trump taking the state.

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“Without Miami-Dade coming out the way they did, President Trump would have lost the state of Florida,” says Randy Pestana, Assistant Director of FIU’s Institute for Public Policy.

He breaks down some of the reasons South Florida Republicans showed up to the polls in droves.

“One, the Democrats didn’t really have a united message outside of ‘anti-trump,’ and you saw that with a lot of the Democrats trying to paint their Republican opponents as ‘Trump loyalists’ or ‘Trumpistas,’” he explains. “That didn’t really resonate with the majority of the population.”

“The Republicans did a really good job at, and they’ve been doing this since 2018, painting all Democrats— whether it was true or not— as Socialists,” Pestana says. “And in South Florida, where many of us come from socialist countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, it really impacts the way you perceive the Democrats.”

Even though Joe Biden did, in fact, win in Miami-Dade, it was not by enough to counteract President Trump’s support in the rest of the state.

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“In Florida, you need to rack up those votes in Democratic districts— Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade County, to offset all the votes you’re going to lose in more Republican districts across the Northern part of the state,” Pestana explains.

President Trump ultimately had about 46% of the vote in Miami-Dade, as opposed to Biden’s 53%.

That’s a big change from four years ago, when there was a difference of about 30 percentage points between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Another reason he says the president performed well was due to the economy.

“Trump really created this movement and this idea that the economy was doing so much better because he was in power, and the tax reform, frankly, helped a lot of small businesses down here. That really came into consideration.”

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The last time a Republican won Miami-Dade County was George H.W. Bush back in 1988.

Karli Barnett