President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will both hold rallies in Tamp Bay, Florida, today to drum up support in the battleground state just five days before election day.
First, President Trump will host one of his trademark rallies outside of Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, former Vice President Biden will appear later in the day in a socially-distant drive-in rally nearby.
The events come just a week before a highly contentious election. It's one in which millions of Americans have already cast their vote. Florida is anticipated to be a pivotal battleground state in the upcoming election. With this, the two candidates are neck-and-neck in local polls.
Trying to Win A Battleground State
More US election fun/odds. Dems want about 600k lead here to win the Sunshine State and it’s 29 electoral votes before Election Day. Florida still a pick em’ from the books: #uspoli https://t.co/unVYkKbUNa
— David Morrison (@MoMorry) October 22, 2020
Both campaigns have poured resources into winning the Sunshine State and it’s 29 electoral votes. It comes with the most of any battleground state. The candidates have made several campaign stops in the state, as have their running mates and allies.
Many political pundits believe Florida is a must-win for President Trump. Even Biden admitted the state will play a crucial role in deciding the election during a recent stop in the state. “Here in Florida, you can determine the outcome of this election. We win Florida and it’s all over,” Biden told supporters.
Interestingly enough, President Trump will have an advantage at his rally on Thursday. Edward James Stadium is an in-person voting site, and the Trump rally could convince attendees to cast their ballots when they come to the rally. Regulations restrict campaigning within 150 feet of a polling site, but the Trump campaign will hold its rally in the stadium’s northern parking lot, which falls outside the no-go zone.
Florida has been a key political bellwether for more than two decades. It decided the election between Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000, and Bush won the state again in 2004. President Barack Obama also squeaked out victories in Florida in 2004 and 2008, and President Trump took the state in 2016. The state could play a similarly decisive role in this year’s contest.
More than 7 million Florida voters have already cast their ballots. That total includes 2.8 million Democrats, 2.6 million Republicans, and 1.4 million independents. Florida has roughly 14 million registered voters, according to state records, so that leaves roughly 7 million votes still up for grabs.
Thursday’s rallies could play an important role in how those remaining voters will cast their ballots. With just two official debates on record, the candidates will use the events to make their closing arguments to Florida voters. With only days left until Election Day, time is most definitely of the essence, and the candidates will attempt to deploy their resources in the most effective way possible over the coming days. The fact that they’ve chosen to hold rallies in Florida so close to the election underscores the southern state’s importance.
One look at the numbers will tell you the contest in Florida is far from decided. With just days to go before Election Day, both candidates are turning up the heat in the Sunshine State, but it’s anyone’s guess who will take home this crucial battleground state in November.
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