Elections

Hillary Clinton to visit Miami before Democratic convention

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 42nd International Convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Tuesday.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 42nd International Convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Tuesday. AP

Hillary Clinton will likely announce her vice presidential pick during an upcoming visit to Miami, Tampa and Orlando this weekend, days before the Democratic Convention begins in Philadelphia.

She will be in Orlando and Tampa on Friday and at Florida International University’s main campus, 11200 SW Eighth St., on Saturday. The public can sign up to attend the Miami event — doors open at 10 a.m. and the rally starts at noon.

The Florida Democratic Party called members of the public who signed up for the event Tuesday night to tell them about the location and time at FIU.

Clinton’s decision to visit Florida immediately following the Republican National Convention and before her own convention highlights the importance of one of the biggest battleground swing states in the nation. A Clinton spokeswoman said on CNN that she expected her to announce her vice presidential candidate in Florida.

This will be Clinton’s first public event in South Florida since she won the Democratic primary, although she spoke to a small group at the Trayvon Martin Foundation in Fort Lauderdale in May.

Clinton has some work to do here to boost her numbers.

Donald Trump led Clinton 42-39 in a Quinnipiac University poll done in Florida June 30-July 11. In a previous Quinnipiac poll last month, she led by eight points, but that evaporated after FBI Director James Comey criticized the former Secretary of State over her use of private email while in government.

The FBI recommended no charges, and the Justice Department agreed, closing the investigation into Clinton. But it hurt her politically.

Florida poll respondents said Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Clinton, 50-37 percent.

Clinton and Trump are statistically tied in Florida, said Peter Brown, the Quinnipiac poll’s assistant director. She needs to maximize her support among Hispanic voters. Trump has turned off many Hispanic voters with his comments about a judge of Mexican descent and with his plans to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

“She has a big advantage in Florida because Florida has very large Hispanic population that is disproportionately Democratic, not completely because of the Cuban community,” Brown said. “The demographics in Florida are very good for Mrs. Clinton compared to other swing states.”

The Clinton campaign has taken the typical steps of wooing South Florida’s Democratic power structure by opening up offices, holding ‘unity’ events with former Bernie Sanders supporters and cultivating a long list of surrogates who represent various minority groups and demographics across the state.

Clinton’s campaign opened an office for the primary in Pompano Beach and opened a Miami office in an artsy warehouse in Wynwood earlier this month. The campaign plans to open other South Florida offices soon.

Earlier this month, the campaign held an event outside of a failed Donald Trump tower in Fort Lauderdale to criticize Trump’s business practices and multiple bankruptcies a day before he was supposed to speak in Miami. Trump cancelled his event after the Dallas shootings.

Trump will hold a Miami fundraiser on Tuesday. It’s possible he will hold some sort of public event next week but his campaign hasn’t announced anything yet.

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