FLORIDA 29 Electoral Votes 
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Florida, the last state to be called by news organizations in 2012, was again a closely fought battleground state in 2016.  Indeed in the final week of the campaign, the four principals together made more visits to Florida than to any other state (+).

According to the Pew Research Center (>), the state has a Hispanic population of about 4.8 million, accounting for 24% of the total population.  2.6 million of these people are eligible to vote or 18% of the total eligible to vote.  For the March 15 presidential primary, Hispanics accounted for 14.9% of active registered voters. 
Because of the dire economic situation in Puerto Rico, many Puerto Ricans are moving to Florida, particularly to central Florida and the Orlando area.  The regional office of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration in Florida estimated that 1,000 Puerto Rican families were moving to Florida every month, and by Oct. 2015 the Puerto Rican population in the state exceeded 1 million (1, 2).      

Groups such as NCLR, the United We Can coalition, and Immigrant Voter Project made significant efforts to register, mobilize and turnout eligible voters in Latino communities and other communities of color.  For example, Immigrant Voter Project (IVP), a collaboration between the Center for Community Change Action, Immigrant Voters Win PAC and local partners, targeted 442,982 low-propensity Latino and API voters, including voters in the state’s Cuban, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, Columbian and Mexican American communities with door knocks, mail, calls and SMS alerts
(+, PDF).

The campaigns and their allies also battled over the Jewish vote.  Jews for Progress (+), a project of the NJDC, focused much of its efforts on Florida.  Ivanka Trump campaigned at the Bal Harbour shul on Oct. 27.

On TV the presidential ad campaign was intense but lopsided.  According to Wesleyan Media Project report from Nov. 3, 2016 (>), three of the top ten and four of the top 20 media markets in the presidential race were in the state.  Orlando topped the list followed by Tampa (2), West Palm Beach (6) and Jacksonville (14).  As in other states, 70-80 % of the presidential ads were Democratic.

Setting the stage for the general election campaign were the March 15 presidential primaries.  The Republican primary (+) saw a heated campaign and marked Sen. Marco Rubio's last stand; Donald Trump ended up winning with a comfortable 18.7 percentage point margin.  The Democratic primary (+) was a relatively quiet as Hillary Clinton garnered 64.4% of the vote; the Sanders campaign put few resources into the state.

For the fall campaign, as in other states, the Clinton ground game far outpaced that of the Trump campaign, tallying 82 offices around the state and more than 550 organizing staffers (+).

Donald Trump made winning Florida something of a personal crusade.  He refers to Florida as his second home; he acquired the Mar-a-Lago Estate in Palm Beach in 1985 and used it as a residence before converting it to the Mar-a-Lago Club. 

Complaints were made about a Trump Foundation contribution to a group supporting Attorney General Pam Bondi (+), but the issue did gain traction.

The mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando early on the morning of June 12, 2016 was a tragic milestone on the calendar.

Hurricane Matthew hit Florida on Oct. 6-7, forcing evacuations and cutting power; following a lawsuit, a judge extended the voter registration deadline from Oct. 11 to Oct. 18 (+).

In addition to the presidential race there was the competitive U.S. Senate race, where Sen. Marco Rubio fended off a challenge from Rep. Patrick Murphy, and there was great ferment in the U.S. House delegation, where ten new Members were elected.

Trump carried 58 counties to nine for Clinton, winning with a plurality of 112,911 votes (1.20 percentage points).
  Trump won 14 congressional districts to 13 for Clinton. 

Steve Schale, a leading Democratic politico in Florida, offers stellar analysis in a couple of postings on his blog (steveshale.com).  Looking at geography, he points to non-urban counties along the I-4 Corridor as the key to Trump's win, writing, "So, where did he beat her? Simple: I-4, and more specifically, the 15 counties that make up suburban and exurban I-4."  As an example, Schale highlights Pasco County, where McCain won by 7,687 votes in 2008, Romney by 14,164 votes in 2012 and Trump by 51,899 votes in 2016. 

Schale also analyzed at the early vote data.  He writes that Clinton's lead in vote by mail/early vote was "at the upper-end" of his projections, causing him to be optimistic going into Election Day.  "Of the VBM/early vote, Clinton won by just over 247K votes -- roughly a 4 point edge (she won both VBM and early vote)."  However, Schale writes, "On election day, Trump won by 360K, or a roughly 13 point margin over Clinton." "Trump just crushed Election Day," Schale concludes. 

Other analysis is provided by Matthew C. Isbell (MCI Maps), who compared 2012 and 2016 results and concluded, "Clinton did worse with white working class regions while Trump did worse with Hispanic and suburban communities."

One other minor factor to consider is the ballot order effect.  Trump's name appeared first on ballots statewide.  The American Association for Public Opinion Research report "An Evaluation of 2016 Election Polls in the United States" (+) points to research suggesting ballot order in the vote for major presidential candidates can improve a candidate's showing by 0.3 percentage points, which in the case of Florida would have led to a closer race but was not enough to change the outcome.