Diverse Florida Remains Pivotal in Upcoming Presidential Election

How To Be Prepared For The August 28th Primary ElectionFlorida continues to be one of the most significant states when it comes to the Presidential election. Donald Trump won the Sunshine state by 1.2% of the vote in 2016. That equated to 112,911 votes in a region where 14.4 million people were eligible to have their say. Even that relatively narrow win was a landslide in Floridian terms, with many close results in recent polls.

Biden surges ahead in the polls

Just a few weeks ago, there was little to choose between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The latest rumors though, suggests a significant move in favor of the challenger. FiveThirtyEight recently predicted that the White House would flip back to blue 87% of the time according to their projections. Others are less emphatic, but the general mood has definitely shifted in favor of a Biden victory of late.

Betting on the US election is not allowed for people in the United States. This means that Americans can’t participate in predicting the outcome of the 2020 contest. But sportsbooks such as William Hill have odds available for those based elsewhere. Biden is now -225 favorite with Trump priced as the +175 underdog. That move may seem significant, but the 74-year-old overcame bigger odds in 2016, so the race is far from over. Upsets have been a feature of the political landscape in recent years with the UK’s Brexit decision available at around +400 on the day of the vote.

Why Florida is such an influential swing state

Nicknamed “the 1% state” due to the razor-thin margins involved, few regions have as big of an influence in who moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The candidate that has taken Florida – and the 29 electoral votes that go with it – has won 13 of the past 14 elections. That period has seen six changes of political power, making Florida’s residents a particularly effective predictive force when it comes to American politics.

Much of this unpredictability could be down to the ever-changing diversity of the state’s population. In 2016, there were around 4 million Caribbean immigrants with 70% eligible to vote. Why is that such a factor? 40% of all Caribbean-American immigrants reside in Florida, and those numbers could rise further when the 2020 census results are known. Add an increasing Hispanic population, a growing youth vote, plus retirees arriving from all over the county and the state has a demographic that is as hard to quantify as it is to predict.

The influence of Kamala Harris

Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has spoken about her Caribbean-Indian heritage on the campaign trail. Her father is Jamaican and became an economics professor at Stanford after moving to the United States. Harris became the first black person to serve as the Attorney General of California and the second black woman to be elected to the US Senate. If this strikes a chord with naturalized and immigrant voters, it could have a sizable impact.

Her inspirational story and achievements could prove a significant factor in districts such as Broward County. It has the highest number of Jamaicans in the US and was the second largest in terms of total votes cast within Florida in 2016. The region was heavily Democratic four years ago as Hillary Clinton won 66.5% of the vote, second only to Gadson County when it came to the margin of victory for the party.

Harris was seen as the winner in the Vice-Presidential debate against her opposite number, and current incumbent, Mike Pence. A CNN instant poll of registered voters suggested 59% thought Harris came out on top. If that trend continues to tip the balance in favor of the Democratic party as a whole, Florida could turn blue once again and signal another change in the White House.

South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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