Trump plans an election eve MAGA rally at airport in Miami-Dade County

Alex Daugherty, David Smiley
·2 min read
US President Donald Trump speaks at a “Make America Great Again” rally at Raymond James Stadium’s parking lot on October 29, 2020, in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks at a “Make America Great Again” rally at Raymond James Stadium’s parking lot on October 29, 2020, in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

If you’ve ever wanted to dance to YMCA on an airport runway after midnight, President Donald Trump has you covered.

Trump’s campaign on Friday announced that the president will attend an 11:30 PM rally on Sunday, Nov. 1, at Opa-locka Executive Airport, part of a frenetic, 48-hour, cross-country tour. The Opa-locka stop will be the end of a five-rally day for the president after events in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina and Georgia.

The rally is expected to be Trump’s final South Florida appearance before Election Day. On Monday, he’s scheduled to appear in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Trump’s appearance will likely violate a 12 AM curfew in Miami-Dade County put in place by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who is also running for Congress as a Republican with Trump’s endorsement.

Trump has blanketed Florida with rallies and public appearances in the campaign’s final weeks, including a stop in Tampa on Thursday. But Trump himself hasn’t held a rally in Miami-Dade County in the campaign’s final months until Sunday, though Vice President Mike Pence held a rally on Oct. 15 aimed at South Florida’s Latino community ahead of a Trump town hall event in downtown Miami.

The decision to hold a rally in Miami 48 hours before Election Day reinforces Trump’s belief that he can dramatically improve his numbers in a county he lost by nearly 300,000 votes in 2016, and is perhaps a signal that there is still work to do.

While Biden will certainly win Miami-Dade County, a question that could determine who wins Florida is: by how much? A loss by half as much as Trump lost the county in 2016 would yield a gain of 150,000 votes or more, supplying ample cushion for slippage elsewhere in Florida.

To lift his numbers to those levels, Trump would need to perform well among independent Hispanic voters, a key swing demographic in the election. Though Republican-affiliated Cuban-Americans have given Trump a significant boost over 2016, the president’s ability to eat deeply into Biden’s margins in Miami-Dade County will require winning some votes among South and Central Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans.

Trump’s visit to Miami is his fifth stop in must-win Florida since returning to the campaign trail Oct. 12 following a hospital stay to treat symptoms of COVID-19. On Thursday, Trump spent parts of the day at his golf resort in Doral before his Tampa rally.

Polls show a tight race in Florida between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Biden visited Broward County and Tampa on Thursday, while his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, is scheduled to visit Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties on Saturday.