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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Why Florida is most likely to cost Donald Trump the White House

Political campaigns tend to be about hope, fear, self-interest, frustration and, occasionally, inspiration. Ultimately, though, campaigns are about math, and the presidential electoral math has been consistent for decades: If the Republican nominee loses Florida, he loses the election.

So the bottom-line question of this extraordinary presidential campaign may turn out to be: Can Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Florida?

The easy and logical answer, based on current evidence, is Trump can win Florida's 29 electoral votes — but he probably won't.

A candidate wildly unpopular with non-white voters and presiding over a deeply fractured party with swaths of voters who can't stomach their nominee simply has little shot of winning a state as diverse and competitive as Florida...Yes, Trump can win America's biggest battleground state, but only if the GOP closes ranks behind him. And only if he can perform far better against Clinton than Mitt Romney did against Barack Obama in places like Tampa Bay and north Florida to compensate for what most experts predict will be a historic Democratic drubbing in vote-rich southeast Florida.

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[Last modified: Saturday, May 7, 2016 2:07pm]


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