But in Hialeah, a working-class, predominantly Cuban city just outside of Miami, a vote for Trump has become about more than just him, or even the Republican Party. It’s about patriotism.
A drive past the city’s biggest intersections shows vendors selling Trump 2020 swag and American flags. And car caravans with dozens of Trump supporters around the city have become a regular occurrence, filled with loud honking and Trump and American flags flung outside windows.
It’s a level of energy for Trump’s reelection — and a show of unabashed nationalism — that Republicans and Democrats alike here agree was not as visible in the past. Many immigrants are deeply patriotic, and for some of them, Trump’s tactics, from flag-hugging to the demonization of Democrats as lefty socialists, resonate. That’s what’s playing out in Hialeah, known as la Ciudad que Progresa, or City of Progress. And countering that is no small challenge for Democrats.
“It’s about patriotism. If you love America, you hate socialism. And with Democrats moving toward a socialist agenda, that’s what’s got so many Cubans and other immigrants supporting Trump. They’re not supporting him necessarily. They’re supporting America,” said Nelson Diaz, chair of the Miami-Dade Republican Party.