Whereas President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden battle over senior and Latino voters in central and South Florida, Republicans say one other key for them will likely be maximizing assist within the Panhandle, residence to a swath of historically crimson counties.
Mr. Trump ’s re-election strategy nationwide has emphasised boosting turnout within the locations the place he’s hottest, and he received some counties in northwest Florida by 40 and 50 proportion factors in 2016. He received the state by barely greater than 1 proportion level that 12 months, so even modest modifications in his assist right here might matter in an in depth 2020 race.
Donald Trump Jr . headlined a rally in Panama Metropolis Seashore earlier this month, and Eric Trump held an occasion in the identical metropolis in September. The Trump marketing campaign has a bus tour that may cease in Fort Walton Seashore on Tuesday.
“I really like that Panhandle,” Mr. Trump stated at a rally Friday in Ocala, within the heart of the state, saying it sealed his 2016 victory right here and pointing to his approval of a catastrophe declaration for Florida after the Panhandle was hit by Hurricane Sally. He made related remarks at a current rally in Jacksonville.
Current polls present a particularly shut race between Messrs. Trump and Biden in Florida, with the president shedding support among older voters in contrast with 2016 and the previous vp attempting to make up ground with Latinos. Florida, which has 29 electoral votes, is taken into account essential to Mr. Trump’s path to re-election.
“If you’re coping with margins probably this small within the state, attempting to squeeze one other 25,000 to 50,000 votes within the Panhandle goes to be completely vital to success,” stated Brett Doster , a Florida-based Republican strategist.
Mr. Doster stated Mr. Trump might lose assist in another components of Florida, such because the Interstate four hall in central Florida, which tends to have more swing voters. “It’s a must to make that up someplace,” he stated.
Mr. Trump visited Fort Myers in Lee County on Friday, a southwest space of the state that went massive for him in 2016. In a nod to the importance of seniors, he touted the plan to develop a coronavirus vaccine, saying it could be made free to nursing properties, and expressed sympathy for these affected by the disaster.
Republicans say inhabitants progress in northwest Florida might work within the president’s favor. The inhabitants of the westernmost Panhandle counties has grown at a fast tempo over the previous decade, in keeping with knowledge from the Bureau of Economic and Business Research on the College of Florida, although these counties are nonetheless smaller than some historically Democratic counties in South Florida. Two Trump marketing campaign officers stated they view the northern a part of the state as an space the place Mr. Trump can improve his vote complete.