Showing how “chaos candidate” Donald Trump scored critical victories in Florida in an election cycle that defied conventional political wisdom, this volume offers surprising insights into the 2016 Republican primary and presidential election.
Using historical and current election results, campaign spending numbers, United States Census data, and individual surveys, contributors examine how Trump handily won the primary over state favorites Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. They find that Trump won the small but crucial rural and suburban counties ignored by the Clinton campaign; that early voting was less decisive than had been assumed; that immigration was not the driving issue for the majority of Hispanic voters as analysts originally believed; and that African American voter turnout was down significantly from 2012 despite the racially divisive nature of Trump’s campaign. Essays also include a breakdown of how the unpredictable voting patterns in Central Florida’s I-4 corridor often determine which candidate takes the state.
Florida’s clout should not be dismissed. The state awards more electoral votes than most, and its victor has gone on to claim the presidency in the last six elections. This volume forecasts the future of the most politically volatile state in the union and reveals emerging trends in the national political landscape.