Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden headed to Florida Monday on the last day for residents in the state to register to vote.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
The former Vice president’s first stop was in Little Haiti area of Miami, where he encouraged supporters to vote, because this is the “most important election.”
“Millions of lives and livelihoods are on the line,” said Biden.
“This is the last day you can register to vote in Florida. It matters. It generally matters because folks, the Haitian community by itself, if the turnout was like it was last time, the Haitian community itself could determine the outcome of this election.”
Democrats have outnumbered Republicans in the crucial battleground of Florida for years, but have had little to show for it.
Republicans have significantly cut into that lead in recent months, putting even more pressure on Democrats to turn out the vote in November.
An uncertain proposition amid the coronavirus outbreak and for a political party that has long been on the losing side of razor-close, high-profile contests in the country’s largest swing state.
The Republican surge in new voter registrations is especially worrisome among Democrats hoping to thwart President Donald Trump’s bid for a second term and who bemoan their party’s inconsistent outreach to Hispanic voters and lackluster efforts to further expand its base.
When Barack Obama won the state in 2008, he beat Republican Sen. John McCain by fewer than 205,000 votes in Florida – a far narrower gap than the nearly 700,000 voter-registration advantage Democrats had over Republicans at the time.
That advantage has dwindled over the years, as Republicans rebounded and the number of nonaffiliated voters rose from 2.1 million in 2008 to almost 3.7 million today.
Four years ago, when Trump prevailed over Hillary Clinton by a percentage point, Democrats had a 330,000 voter-registration advantage over Republicans. As of August, Republicans have cut that lead almost in half and could further narrow the gap before Monday’s voter registration deadline.
“A lot of people are discouraged. And by the way, everything the administration has done has tried to put a lid on people voting, everything, making it sound like we can’t determine our own outcomes.” said Biden.
“We can. The American people are showing up. They’re voting in large numbers. It’s already begun. As you all know, and quite frankly. If we win Florida, you’ve won.”