“This lively collection shows how Florida has become a contested state for presidential politics and electoral votes in recent elections, focusing on how Donald Trump won Florida in 2016.”—Gregory L. Schneider, author of The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution
“Florida, as the nation’s largest presidential swing state, was a significant stop on the road to the White House in 2016. Through original research and keen analysis from experts in the field, this book provides a fresh and comprehensive look at the role of Florida as an electoral battleground.”—Sean D. Foreman, coeditor of The Roads to Congress 2016: American Elections in a Divided Landscape
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. Florida and the 2016 Election of Donald J. Trump forecasts the future of the most politically volatile state in the union and reveals emerging trends in the national political landscape.
Matthew T. Corrigan, professor of political science and public administration at the University of North Florida, is the author of several books, including Conservative Hurricane: How Jeb Bush Remade Florida and American Royalty: The Bush and Clinton Families and the Danger to the American Presidency. Michael Binder is associate professor of political science and public administration and the faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida.