By traditional standards, Trump hasn’t had a ground game until last week. That function was left in the hands of the Republican National Committee, which has been organizing and registering voters in Florida for two years.
Clinton took no such chances. She began opening voter-outreach field office in spring, and now counts 57 of them. Trump’s campaign didn’t sweat it. He only began opening offices last week; 13 are up and running now, nine more are slated for Tuesday. In July, as they both secured their party’s nominations, she and her allies began what has been, as of Monday, a $21 million general-election ad campaign. Trump and his allies have spent just $7.5 million in a state with 10 major media markets.
But at its core, the race is about race, about motivating white versus non-white voters. The whiter the electorate, the likelier it is Trump wins. And older whites are keeping Trump in the hunt.
Without the backing of older whites, polls indicate Trump would lose Florida — in this retirement mecca, the elderly are still a force at the ballot box. Of Florida’s 12.4 million active registered voters, more than 3.3 million are older than 65 years old, making them the largest age group on the rolls (followed by those 50 to 64). The elderly also have the highest turnout rate in Florida.