On November 8th, Americans will elect a new President and Floridians will choose a US Senator, members of Congress and many state legislative and local officials. It could be said that; so goes Florida, so goes the nation. Here’s a few facts about how Florida is a critical player in national elections:
- Florida has 29 Electoral Votes, tied with New York for the third most of any state. Only California (55) and Texas (38) have more. As you may know, the Electoral College (not the popular vote) determines the outcome of the Presidential election.
- Florida is considered perhaps the most coveted “swing state” in the country. In the past couple decades, California and New York have leaned heavily Democratic, whereas Texas has leaned heavily Republican. This leaves Florida’s 29 Electoral Votes as the largest prize for a state that is not locked in for one party.
- The winner of the last four Presidential elections has won the state of Florida. President Obama won Florida in 2012 and 2008. President Bush won Florida in 2004 and 2000. Many of you will remember the Florida recount in 2000, in which George W. Bush only won by just 537 votes.
- Florida has a very diverse electorate. Florida is the retirement capital of the US, meaning over 19% of the state’s population is 65 or older. These retirees come in from many of the Northeast and Midwest states. Only one third of Florida residents are native born Floridians and Florida is taking in hundreds of thousands of new residents each year. 23% of Floridians were born outside the continental United States; many of those migrating from US territory of Puerto Rico. Cuban immigration is also larger (by far) in Florida than any other state.
- Geographically speaking, the northern parts of Florida (Panhandle and Jacksonville area), tend to lean heavily toward Republicans, where as Southeast Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach), tend to lean heavily toward Democrats. These means the battleground areas are all across Central Florida, otherwise known as the I-4 Corridor. The Presidential candidate who wins Florida will have to convince voters in the greater Daytona, Orlando and Tampa areas that they are best fit to lead the nation.
Absentee and early voting is already taking place across the state. If you are unsure the whereabouts of your local precinct voting location, or you’d like information on locations for early voting, contact your local county Supervisor of Elections.
Click here for Supervisor of Elections in your county or enter your search your county Supervisor of Elections online:
Whatever your candidate, party or preference, if your live in Florida, your vote truly matters!