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 (>),
accounted for 14.9% of active
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
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,
NCLR, the United We Can coalition, and Immigrant Voter Project made
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
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).
and their allies also battled over the Jewish
vote. Jews for Progress (+),
Bal Harbour shul on Oct. 27.
Media Project report from Nov. 3, 2016 (>),
markets in the
presidential race were in the state. Orlando topped the list
by Tampa (2), West Palm Beach (6) and Jacksonville (14). As in
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.
6-7, forcing evacuations and cutting power;
following a lawsuit, a judge extended the voter registration deadline
from Oct. 11 to Oct. 18 (+).
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
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
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
), who compared 2012 and 2016 results and concluded, "Clinton
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.
name appeared first on ballots statewide. The American
for Public Opinion Research report "An Evaluation of 2016 Election
Polls in the United States" (+)
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.