By Marianela Toledo | Florida Watchdog
MIAMI — It had all the elements of a rock concert.
People were waiting for hours under the intense sun. Some were hospitalized and missed the event, merchandise and, of course, the fans. Plenty of fans.
“Four more years. Four more years,” were some of the chants heard outside the venue.
At Barbara Goleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes, 3,000 people awaited the first lady’s entrance.
The speech was first scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, but delays pushed it to 3 p.m.
“I want Obama as president and re-elected, because this country was broke with (President George W.) Bush,” said Liliana Gonzalez Rubio, a Democratic supporter waiting for the first lady.
For Alison Norris, a student at the school, said Michelle Obama’s speech was incredibly inspiring.
“I agree with her. I will vote for Obama. She is a very important symbol for women, especially for me because I’m going to be a lawyer,” said Alison Norris.
The visit at this public school in Miami-Dade County faced initial protests from two school board members Renier Diaz de la Portilla and Carlos Curbelo, who said public schools should not be used for political purposes.
Roberto Sanalozi, an independent voter, said the first lady spoke about health-care reform and urged those present to vote for the Democrats.
“I wish she would have spoken about an important issue like foreign policy,” said Sanalozi, adding that he would still vote for the Democrats because they were the “least bad.”
But this is only the first of many political events expected in the Sunshine Shine, as key figures from both parties visit to attract voters and cash to their coffers ahead of the hotly contested U.S. presidential election in the fall.
According to the latest poll by Latino Decisions, a Latino political opinion research firm who surveyed 400 Hispanic voters in Florida, 53 percent of Hispanic voters support Obama, compared with 37 percent for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
This represents a significant change from the Quinnipiac University poll on June 21 that gave 49 percent to Obama and 39 percent to Romney. The poll surveyed 1,696 registered voters and had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.
Florida, a key state in the election, has 29 electoral votes up for grabs. The first to reach 270 electoral votes will win the presidency.
Video report of Michelle Obama visiting Miami: