Trump, Biden make final push for Florida voters as election nears

'It is possible we can win without Florida,' says Trump adviser
Posted at 5:21 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 18:12:11-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — This weekend, President Trump will vote in West Palm Beach. Vice President Pence will be in Lakeland, and former President Barack Obama will be in Miami.

The campaigns appear to be paying more attention to Florida with the election only days away and early-voting in full swing.

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At the library along Summit Boulevard in Palm Beach County on Friday, Amado Vasquez was preparing to vote.

It is a right that he takes seriously. He is an immigrant from the Dominican who knows how pivotal the state is in the national election.

"They feel this could be a swing state," he said.

Amado Vasquez
Amado Vasquez voted early and recognizes how important winning Florida is for both presidential candidates.

The proof is in how focused the campaigns are on Florida.

President Trump is holding two campaign stops in the Sunshine State on Friday.

"Florida is always close, historically, and I think that's going be the case again. That's why there's so much attention here," said U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch.

After Thursday night's debate, both campaigns say they need to reach out to Floridians in the closing days.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch says he believes Florida will be a tight race once again on Election Day.

"Florida is so critical. It's obviously a large state, and it's a swing state. I think it leans very slightly red, but it's clearly a swing state," said Trump senior adviser Steve Cortes.

"President Barack Obama is going to be down here. I expect that we'll see Vice President Biden and Sen. Harris, one or both of them, over the course of the last week of the campaign," Deutch said.

The tight polls and 29 electoral votes seem to assure the campaigns will keep coming back.

"Florida is the largest battleground state," said Steve Schale, who ran Obama's campaign in Florida in 2008. "For Trump, there is no map for him without winning Florida. And obviously for Biden, if you win Florida, it's over," said Schale, who now runs the political action committee, Unite The Country.

Among the state's 14 million registered voters, Democrats hold a slight edge, but there are over 3 and a half million voters not affiliated with a party.

Steve Cortes
"It is possible we can win [the election] without Florida, but I'm not going to make that assumption," said Trump senior adviser Steve Cortes.

"I don't want to make projections. We just want to hustle and earn votes everywhere, but it is possible we can win without Florida, but I’m not going to make that assumption," Cortes said.

These days winning Florida now involves winning over Hispanic voters.

"The dynamics are much more diverse, for example, in this electorate, probably 39 percent of the vote will come from communities of color, which is 10 points higher than for Obama in 2008," Schale said.

"We believe that Florida and Arizona, two critical swing states, are going to come out at least in part because of our very sustained intentional respect outreach to Hispanic voters," Cortes said.