Florida and Pennsylvania will play pivotal roles in deciding the next president of the United States.
President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will need to capture 270 of a possible 538 electoral votes to win the White House, but the margin of victory is likely to come down to just a handful of states headlined by Pennsylvania and Florida.
The candidates have focused much of their campaigning in these two key states as Election Day draws near. The two presidential hopefuls zeroed in on the Sunshine State over the weekend, with both holding several major events.
Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris made three appearances in Florida on Saturday. They target key Democratic strongholds in the state. The Democrats are hoping they can take the state by pushing for a high voter turnout among new, left-leaning independents and senior citizens. “The path to the White House leads through Florida,” Harris told potential voters during a weekend campaign stop in Fort Lauderdale.
Conversely, the GOP hopes Florida’s staunch Republican vote will help the president take the state’s 29 electoral votes, which represent more than 10% of the amount needed to win the election. Trump took the state in 2016 and he’s hoping for a repeat in this contest. He spent much of the weekend campaigning across the state. Also, he ended Sunday with a late-night rally in Miami-Dade Country that went on to nearly 1 a.m.
Florida has played an instrumental role in deciding at least the last five presidential elections. It was crucial to Trump’s victory in 2016, and his campaign believes he will hold onto the state in 2020. Biden can still win without Florida, but he can’t afford to lose both Florida and Pennsylvania.
Florida’s 29 votes are the largest prize up for grabs, but Pennsylvania is a close second with 20 electoral votes. Pennsylvania tends to lean Democrat due to the Democrats’ stranglehold on the state’s large urban population centers. However, Trump took the state in 2016 by driving strong voter turnout among Western Pennsylvania’s rural regions.
President Trump is hoping that the same enthusiasm will push the state’s Republican voters to turn out en masse for the election. The state’s Democratic governor, Tom Wolf, has imposed one of the most draconian lockdowns in the entire country. With this, many residents are eager to pushback against the Democratic demi-dictator.
Biden Campaign’s Stance on Fracking
The Biden campaign’s stance on fracking could also hurt the former vice president’s chance in the state. Harris has stated unequivocally that she is in favor of banning fracking. Biden started his campaign with a strong stance against fracking, though he has tempered his message after seeing his lead in Pennsylvania slip after President Trump shined the spotlight on the issue.
At the moment, Biden said he will only ban additional fracking on federal lands. However, many voters are suspicious of his flip-flopping on the issue. According to the Monmouth University Poll, Biden has as much as a seven-point lead in the state. This is down by more than a third from his 11-point lead in September.
Biden is looking to shore up his chances in the Keystone state by making last-minute stops across the state on Monday. He will also head to Ohio to try to drum up support there.
President Trump will also campaign in Florida on Monday. The president will also continue his robust campaigning schedule with additional stops in North Carolina, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
With less than a day until Election Day officially kicks off, most experts are predicting a historically close election. Given the widespread chaos likely to result from mail-in voting, there’s a strong chance we won’t know how won until days, if not weeks, later. However, one thing is certain: the path to the White House goes through Florida and Pennsylvania.