Ever since the 2000 election, pundits and political pros have zeroed in on Florida as being one of – if not the – key swing-state.
Barack Obama won the state in both of his campaigns, and Hillary Clinton was counting on the Sunshine State to block Donald Trump from winning its 270 Electoral College votes.
But new data out of Florida shows a key group of voters are not turning out, and it could cost Hillary the election.
In 2012, Obama won Florida largely on the strength of black voters.
Black voters turned out in record levels and powered him to a narrow win in Florida over Mitt Romney.
Much of this support was banked during the early voting period.
However, new numbers from Florida show Hillary struggling to turn out black voters and their early vote participation is down significantly from 2012.
“After the first full weekend of in-person early voting ended Sunday, African-American turnout failed to meet expectations — or historic precedent — leaving top Democrats and activists fuming or worried that Clinton’s campaign isn’t living up to the hype in Florida…
…African-Americans traditionally dominate early in-person voting. But they didn’t show in force this weekend. And Hastings said he wasn’t surprised. After Sunday night’s polls closed, black voters accounted for 16 percent of the in-person early vote ballots cast. And that included five previous days of in-person early voting.
But in 2012, in just two days of in-person early voting, blacks cast 25 percent of those early ballots, according to Dan Smith, a University of Florida political science professor who published some of the early voting data on his must-read Election Smith blog.
Due to such strong African-American turnout after the beginning of in-person early voting in 2012, Democrats began outpacing Republicans in total ballots cast before Election Day, by about 10,000. This year, though, Republicans still cling to their own lead of about 9,000. As of Monday morning about 3.7 million absentee and in-person early ballots had been cast, 40.5 percent of them by Republicans and 40.2 percent by Democrats.
“The black vote is way underperforming compared to 2012,” Smith said.”
Polls in Florida show a tight race.
The current Real Clear Politics polling average finds Trump with a slim 0.5% lead.
However, the most recent polls in their average show Trump with some breathing room.
A New York Times/Siena poll found the GOP nominee leading 46% to 42%.
That was matched by Remington Research survey – which is a Republican pollster – showing Trump with an identical 4-point lead.
Trump’s slight poll lead could hold up as black voters aren’t the only core Democratic constituency underperforming.
Politico also reports:
“Race and party aside, another problem for Clinton right now might reside with young people. Millennial voters (ages 18-34) generally back Clinton, but they’ve only cast 402,000 ballots so far — 52 percent of their 2012 total, according to AIF. Those over 65 — who are most likely to support Trump — have cast the most ballots so far, 1.6 million. That’s 97 percent of their 2012 total.
Democrats aren’t hiding their concern. They thought they should be ahead in pre-Election Day ballots. And now they’re not. The Clinton campaign admits that one her biggest problems is that she has a tough act to follow: The first black president.”
Do you believe Donald Trump will win Florida?
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