‘Both candidates desperately want to win Florida’ Why a Florida victory in Election 2020 is crucial

Fight for Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In just 48 days, voters will elect the 46th president of the United States.

Action News Jax Courtney Cole took a closer look at the impact Florida will have on the election.

One of the reasons Florida is so critical is that it holds 29 votes in the electoral college. Those votes are why former Vice President Joe Biden campaigned in Florida on Tuesday, and is the driving force behind Lara Trump coming to Jacksonville Wednesday to encourage women to reelect President Donald Trump.

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Cole asked Michael Binder, a political science and public administration professor at University of North Florida, about the other reasons Florida is a crucial state in the election.

Binder said it is because statewide elections are always such a close call.

“We saw it in the Senate races in 2018, and the governor’s race in 2018,” he said. “We saw it in the presidential race in 2016, with Trump winning by a little more than a percentage point. In 2012, Obama didn’t win by much. Heck—if you want to go back to 2000—(George W.) Bush won by literally a few hundred votes,” Binder told Action News Jax.

The UNF professor said, “It is possible,” to win the presidency without Florida, but, “It gets extraordinarily difficult if Trump were to lose Florida for him to go on and win.”

When it comes to winning Duval County, Binder said he doesn’t expect Trump to carry the day.

“Duval is different than it was in 2016 by a lot,” he said. And by different—he means there are six percentage-points of new registered Democrats.

Here are the latest numbers from the Duval Supervisor of Elections office as of today (09/16/20):

  • 269,948 Registered Democrats
  • 231,197 Registered Republicans
  • 137,451 Registered NPA (Non-Party Affiliates)
  • 9,248 listed as “other”

Biden still needs the Black and Latino vote, and Trump needs the suburban women vote, Binder added. “It’s going to go along way to getting Trump elected, at least in Florida.”