“His call to the white supremacist group Proud Boys to ‘stand by,’ and telling his followers to go to the polls and watch them, that is straight up voter suppression,” said incoming state Minority Leader Bobby DuBose, a Black Broward County Democrat…

“He had an opportunity to sort of dim the views of the underbelly of the country,” said former Florida Rep. Alan Williams, a strategic adviser to Biden’s campaign and former head of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus. “I was watching with my son last night and my daughter was with us on Facetime. That was hard.”

Florida’s Black vote has been consequential in recent election cycles, delivering an outsized impact on outcomes in a battleground where every vote matters. Trump’s remark on Tuesday could motivate Black voters, which overwhelmingly support Democrats, in a state he almost certainly has to take to win reelection…

“I can tell you this was not a dog whistle,” said Maya Brown, a Tampa-based Democratic organizer working to turn out Black and Hispanic voters. “To not only fail to condemn, but actually directly ignite a group like the proud Boys was shocking to me. It was hard for me to watch.”