ORLANDO, Fla. — Present Trump is in Florida Tuesday, officially launching his 2020 re-election campaign.
The President could have done that from anywhere. In fact, President Obama did it online.
So, why a huge political rally in Orlando?
Experts say Republicans and Democrats are already focusing their campaigns on the Sunshine State.
“I mean, Florida is the jackpot again for the 2020 elections,” said 10News Political Expert Lars Hafner. “And we are going to be starting with President Trump coming to town.”
Political watchers say the Trump campaign’s decision to officially launch a re-election bid in Orlando is no coincidence. Nor is the Democrats’ decision to hold their first big debate a few days later in Miami.
“They are both going to where they feel that they have to gin up their base. Trump feels like the Orlando I-4 corridor is where he’s got to solidify his base,” said Hafner. “Whereas the Democrats, being down in Miami, and that media market, South Florida, if they have any chance of winning, they’ve got to get out the vote down there.”
Experts say it comes down to internal polling and math. Both parties want Florida’s 29 electoral votes in order to reach 270.
But based on polling and the direction other states are leaning, “Donald Trump cannot win the presidency without Florida,” said Hafner. “And the Democrats know that.”
Hafner also points out that In 2016, Trump won in Florida by about 115,000 votes. But in 2020, hundreds of thousands of felons will have their right to vote restored.
Despite attempts in the legislature to curtail that number, “There is still going to be a percentage of that 1.2 million that can vote in 2020. That could swing the Democrats way,” said Hafner. “And therefore, the election.”
And if, at some point, the numbers don’t look like they are going Trump’s way in Florida, a state some suggest the President must mathematically carry, Hafner makes this bold prediction:
“I would not put it past him dumping Mike Pence as his VP nominee and putting Governor Ron DeSantis on the ticket with him if he believed that’s what he needed to do to take Florida,” said Hafner. “That’s how we know Florida is so important.”
Under Florida law, there is an exemption that allows an elected officer – such as the Governor – to run for president or vice president without having to resign.
Further fueling that sort of speculation, just three days ago, President Trump was asked whether he would automatically endorse Mike Pence for president in the 2024 election. The president sidestepped the question, saying only he would give it ‘very strong consideration’.
Still, for now, it’s a Trump Pence ticket. And both will be in Orlando Tuesday, putting Florida once again, front and center.
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