“We never wavered. We had a plan in place, it was executed, and at no point throughout the day did we think the question was in doubt,” said Susie Wiles, senior Florida adviser for the Trump campaign. “Honestly, the margins were a bit bigger than we thought they would be, but we always thought we would win.”
That confidence — and the work behind it — was rewarded on Tuesday, when Trump coasted to a 4-point victory in Florida, a comfortable gap in a state where presidential elections commonly are settled by much narrower margins.
Along with frequent campaign and surrogate trips, including at least four from the president himself in the final weeks, Team Trump’s winning formula included a heavy dose of messaging that sought to brand Democrats as socialists and anti-police, a focus on opening the economy despite the coronavirus pandemic, generous spending on a traditional ground game, and the buildout of a coalition that Trump in the past had paid little attention to, according to nearly a dozen Florida Republicans and campaign officials.
That new coalition will be central to continued Republican success in the state. As one Republican put it, “you’ve got to kind of recognize that old white men are dying.”