Donald Trump defined Florida as ground zero for the 2020 presidential election. An essential state for his re-election and where he officially launched his campaign this week , posing to the Democrats a strong challenge in a state that has eluded them in the last decade.
A few days earlier, Democratic Party President Tom Pérez spoke of an “unprecedented” effort to recover Florida, in a speech at the annual convention on party leadership in the southern state.
“For me it is clear that Donald Trump is desperate to win Florida in 2020, so the Democrats are going to be in the front line in the struggle to recover the White House until the last vote is cast,” said Perez in a conference call with the president of the Florida Democratic Party, Terrie Rizzo and other local leaders.
“We know we have work ahead of us, what is working to our advantage is that the president now has a track record with which he is competing,” implying that Trump’s government experience would not help him convince parts of the electorate.
Perez’s words give an idea of the Democrats will focus on how Trump has failed on the agenda of various local interest groups.
But words will not be enough in the face of the immense challenge of controlling one of the most important pendulum states. Former President Barack Obama won Florida in 2012 with 0.9%, but in 2014 Republican Governor Rick Scott won re-election with 1% and in 2016 Trump won with 1.2%. And in 2018, when the Democrats thought they would regain the state, Senator Bill Nelson lost reelection and Andrew Gillium, the former mayor of Tallahassee, lost the governorship, both by a difference of less than 1% of the vote.
The new Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday showed Joe Biden with a 9-point lead, in Florida over Trump. 50% against 41% in preferences.
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders also has an advantage over the mogul (6 points), followed by Elizabeth Warren with 4 points above Trump. The survey included 1,279 people and was conducted between June 12 and 17, with a margin of error of 3.3%.
“Biden has a substantial advantage, but the choice is not today and nothing is certain. In 2020 Florida will probably have a high participation in the south of the state, which in the first instance would favor the president. But everything depends on the composition of those voters and if the Democrats manage to register and take to the streets to young people, “the pollster John Zogby told Univision Noticias.
“Another key will be the behavior of the I4 corridor, where the vote of the independents can give a turn to the state,” he added, referring to the 132.3-mile Florida strip between St. Petersburg and Daytona Beach, that one of the areas of greater population growth of the state.
In that area, in the outskirts of Orlando, settle many Puerto Ricans who have left the island, driven first by the economic crisis and then by the effect of the hurricanes of 2017, which tend to incline by the Democrats.
But just north of Orlando there are other areas preferred by retirees, mostly white conservatives, who come from northern states and those who are closest to the Republican Party. Because. many analysts believe that the balance of the state is just in that corridor.
Pérez explained that by 2020 they will have a massive organizing effort led from the party at the national level and that includes training 1,000 organizers in Florida and five other swing states.
Pérez explained that most of the organizers in Florida will be local and people of color.
“We are already working on our political infrastructure. Most of the organizers are students from Florida and they come from Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, places that we have to win, “Enrique Gutiérrez, director of Hispanic media for the Democratic Party, told Univisión.
In addition, the state party announced that it is investing $ 2 million dollars to register 200,000 new voters in 2020 and that will attack the president’s record in the state.
“He has mistreated the Puerto Rican community. We have seen how he stopped the necessary assistance after disasters in Florida like Hurricane Michael. It is against the government of Nicolás Maduro, but does not want to offer Temporary Protection Status (TPS) to Venezuelans in the state, “said Gutiérrez.
This Tuesday Priorities USA , the super PAC or the largest Democratic Political Action Committee in the United States, launched a digital advertising campaign in Florida where he mentioned the increase in health insurance premiums in the state and highlighted that the Party’s tax cuts Republican have only benefited the richest. The notice was published in the largest newspapers and digital publications in Florida and will be circulating all week.
Trump has the advantage of having built a second home in the state, where he has several properties and investments, something that makes him naturally known and popular locally.
In Florida, the only thing sure at this moment is that it will be one of the most contested and potentially controversial elections of 2020.