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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

White Tampa Bay delivered Florida to Donald Trump



Hillary Clinton's Florida campaign largely achieved what it set out to do: mobilize voters in the state's most diverse urban areas — especially Miami-Dade and around Orlando — to beat Donald Trump.

Clinton won 81,000 more votes in Miami-Dade than President Barack Obama did four years ago when he won Florida largely by winning huge there. Likewise, she won nearly 53,000 more votes in Orange County than Obama did and across the state, helped drive a big increase in Hispanic turnout.

What the Clinton team neglected — and what the far-outspent Trump Florida campaign targeted — was everywhere outside the urban centers.

In other words, the white vote.

Trump crushed Clinton in the suburbs and rural areas, capitalizing on enormous enthusiasm for his anti-status quo message. The Florida win catapulted him to the presidency.

"We assumed that's what their campaign would look like because that's what we'd seen over several cycles," said Susie Wiles, the Ponte Vedra Republican who ran Trump's Florida campaign. "The work-around for that these days is suburban versus urban, and that only works if you can harness enthusiasm and turnouts are high in suburbia where you've targeted. It was unparalleled enthusiasm for this man and his message."

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[Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2016 9:14am]


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