Road to Election day series Day 1: Florida’s role in the presidential election
November 2, 2016
The air buzzes with energy at the Democratic Office of Pinecrest. The walls are decorated with signs and newspaper clippings praising Hillary Clinton. The people fuel their hard work by believing they fight to get the right candidate into the oval office. There are volunteers that have traveled from places like the Netherlands and Ireland to take part in winning possibly the most important battleground state in this election.
“All roads through Florida lead to the White House,” Michael Levey, 23, and the field organizer for Pinecrest on the Hillary For America Campaign said.
And it is true. Ever since the presidential election of 2000 when Al Gore lost Florida and the presidency by only 1 percent, it has been one of the most competitive states in every election. The result of the population explosion in the sixties was a state more diverse, both politically and economically. With Florida eligible to swing either Republican or Democrat, it plays a crucial role in this election.
“Miami-Dade county in general is very, very, very blue,” Levey said. “Very saturated with registered democrats.”
This is true enough for Florida as a whole as well. Florida’s recent election history has it labeled as a Democrat state, but according to polling website Real Clear Politics, Trump could easily win Florida, if only he had some ground game.
A junior at Miami Palmetto Senior High named Alyssa Sanchez and her family are Trump supporters. She believes Trump’s campaign reaches out enough to round up his supporters.
“His platform is what I’m really behind,” Sanchez said.
Yet this does not take away from the fact that Sanchez has not been reached out by any individuals about voting or volunteering, and does not know where any Republican Field Offices might be where she can get yard signs or other merchandise.
A lack of ground game basically means when people like Michael Levey and his numerous amounts of equally dedicated volunteers round up voters, orchestrate events and get the entirety of their community behind them, Trump and his supporters fall far behind.
In fact, early September showed that Hillary Clinton had 51 field offices to Donald Trump’s sole one in Orlando according to the Miami Herald. Which is striking considering Trump’s necessity to win both Florida and Pennsylvania. Despite his insufficient ground base, in a poll taken by the website 270 To Win on Oct. 26th, Trump pulls ahead by 2 percent.
“The polls will most likely change,” Levey said. “Polls are static, they move up and down every day and in the past two to three weeks, Hillary Clinton has been up in the polls.”
Two days later Trump had fallen behind by seven points on a poll by the same website; specifically 39 percent to Clinton’s 56 percent. Courtesy of the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails, that number has now fallen to 47% over Trump’s 45%.
Hillary Clinton does not have to win Florida in order to gain the presidency; however according to recent scandals, polls and in general bad news for the Trump Campaign in past weeks paves the way for Clinton to sweep Florida.
“I’m not worried about anything,” Levey said. “I’m just here to do my job.