Florida can once again be the ultimate game changer in a presidential election
Florida has the chance to turn the whole presidential race. There has already been a record-setting surge in early voting. Going into the final weekend to vote early, nearly 55% of Florida voters have already cast their ballots. That’s more than 7.8 million people.
The I-4 corridor is traditionally where presidential candidates live or die because Tampa to Orlando can go red or blue. But a political expert told us 2020 could be different. Places we would least expect, including Lee County, a heavily red area, might play a role in who wins.
Peter Bergerson, an FGCU political science professor, said the deep reds such as Collier County and deep Blues such as Broward will not flip.
“Not a deep blue or deep red county that’s going to switch,” Bergerson said. “It’s not whether they’re going to be red or blue, it’s going to be about how red or how blue. How many Republicans turn out in the blue counties?”
If for example, Miami-Dade County becomes light blue, that will be a problem for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Or if Lee County becomes light red, that will signal trouble for President Donald Trump.
“This is an election of a turnout factor,” Bergerson said.
Cities Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville can historically go either way during a presidential election, so they will be areas to closely watch in the state on Election Day.
“Those are the ones that tend to be party switchers that do not have strong loyalties,” Bergerson said.
Bergerson said an unknown factor is the “shy Trumper,” voters who don’t admit they’re for the president but will vote for him. The Trump campaign believes those “shy Trumpers” will push him across the finish line and into the White House for another four years.
As for the rare undecided voters on Election Day, history tells Bergerson three out of five will vote for the challenger.
“It happened with Trump; it happened with Obama; and it happened with Bush,” Bergerson said.