Is Florida still a swing state?
USA: Donald Trump wins in "Swing State" Florida - what happened there?
In 2016 Donald Trump won the election in Florida. Four years later, voters in the former swing state are even topping it. What has happened there?
Trump needs Florida to win. That was one of the few certainties shortly before the US election, after all, the winner will receive 29 voters. And Trump got Florida. However, he has not yet won the election. Millions of votes still need to be counted in several states. The election thriller in the US could drag on for days. You can find out here which states are now decisive for the election.
Trump is expanding his lead
Florida is considered to be the most important of the so-called swing states - unlike in many other states, elections are not traditionally democratic or republican, but differently for each election. But already in the early morning German time it was clear: In the "Sunshine State" Donald Trump still has the majority of voters behind him.
The incumbent president was not only able to repeat his election success from 2016 - he even extended his lead. With 51.2 percent of the vote, Trump is now more clearly ahead of his Democratic opponent Joe Biden than in 2016 in the race against Hillary Clinton. Many analysts said Biden had good chances of winning in advance, and at least forecast a head-to-head race. How did this misjudgment come about?
Mobilization potential was underestimated
Florida is particularly hard hit by the Corona crisis. The Washington government's crisis management has outraged many voters. The mood threatened to change, especially among senior citizens and white voters.
But a comparison of the election results in the individual counties of 2016 and 2020 shows two things in particular: The analysts have apparently underestimated the persistence and mobilization potential of Trump supporters. Demographic change and the influence of the white electorate in the suburbs, on the other hand, were overestimated.
Clinton was more popular than Biden
Ultimately, Florida voted almost exactly as it did in 2016. As in the rest of the USA, the dividing line runs between the more democratic metropolitan areas and the rural areas, traditionally the home of Republican voters. According to the preliminary results, Biden was only able to gain three administrative districts (counties). The lead in two of them is so small that it could even disappear when the remaining votes are counted.
In the end, only the overall result in the state counts anyway - and that's relatively clear. According to initial estimates, one effect in particular contributed to the defeat of the Democrats: In Florida, a surprising number of Latinos voted in 2020 and made their mark on Donald Trump.
Election observers attribute this, among other things, to the high number of Cubans in exile who probably cost Biden votes. The Republicans had repeatedly portrayed the Democratic candidate in the election campaign as a socialist who wanted to create conditions in the USA similar to those in Cuba or Venezuela.
Were the election prognoses wrong again?
In 2020, this apparently mobilized a group of voters who were still friends with Hillary Clinton - Joe Biden, on the other hand, deeply rejects them and prefers to give their support to a Republican president. In County Miami-Dade, for example, Hillary Clinton was still clearly ahead in 2016. With Joe Biden as a candidate, the Democrats' lead shrunk to just seven percentage points.
All of this does not have to mean much for the overall outcome of the election. On the contrary: after clarity prevailed in Florida, suddenly a lot was open again. And it will probably stay that way for the time being. Now everyone is waiting for the next big surprise.
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