US election 2020: Florida ‘dancing to Trump’s tune’ as Republicans celebrate before battleground state declared

In Florida, Republicans are rejoicing. Even before it was officially declared, they were celebrating beating Joe Biden.

“We have won Florida,” the president of Palm Beach’s Republican club announced to an ecstatic crowd, even before the clock struck midnight.

After much whooping and cheering, an impromptu YMCA routine was performed by a line of fans in Donald Trump masks.

“We are so excited, we were very apprehensive initially, but we believe that Trump is the best candidate and we are very excited about his win in Florida,” Thaddeus Ripa told me.

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Losing here would have crushed Mr Trump’s hopes, blocking his best route to the White House – but his supporters have been confident from the start.

“I feel it’s going to be an incredible win for Trump, a landslide,” Jill Dalton said, her face sparkling with shiny red, white and blue stars.

Outside the party, dejected Democrats.

They had been holding their own, a small gathering in contrast to the more than 400-strong, mainly mask free event of their competitors.

They too had accepted early on that Florida had been lost, believing some Latinos in Miami have closed the door on Joe Biden and fearing the state could spark a chain reaction.

“If Trump wins the election, to be completely honest with you, I will be devastated,” Democrat voter Bradley Jackson told me.

“It’s been a long four years, a lot of chaos, a lot of divisiveness, a lot of drama. It’s just drama every day and I know a lot of Republicans like that and enjoy it, but I’m over it.”

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As Republicans took to the dance floor to celebrate their win, it is clear the idea the president’s popularity is waning has not played out here.

In this election – once again, Florida is dancing to Donald Trump’s tune.

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