There are polls out right now that put Biden on top in Florida. These polls are done by people who live off the island. True, Florida is a peninsula, not an island. But in another demographic oddity it is about five states rolled into a single polity. And none of them are crazy, except maybe one, about Joe Biden.
How do I know this? Grew up down there, my hometown is Hollywood, cut my political teeth in Broward County, and had my first byline there as a teenager, over 40 years ago. Still go home regularly (shameless plug) and stay at the Riptide on Hollywood Beach. Though haven’t lived there since the late 80s and love my place in Annapolis, Maryland, still think of Florida as my home. Have myriad political contacts in the state. Okay, enough bio. Let’s get to the five states of Florida and their key to a Trump win nationwide. Its 29 electoral college votes can cinch it.
1) South Florida, my turf- Yeah, Broward and parts of gray ponytail Dade will go Dem. But they will be offset by the rich of Palm Beach and the Cubans and South Americans of Dade. Take a walk down Calle Ocho and mention Nancy Pelosi. After you’ve dodged the projectiles go for a cafe cubano at Versailles and ask someone about Trump. Try to do it in Spanish so they’ll understand. When you get your vehemently enthusiastic answer you’ll get my drift. Score one for the president. Oh yeah, the president lives in Palm Beach County and is generally liked there.
2) The Panhandle- More parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia than they are of Florida, these good ol’ boys and gals spray for left wingers in Pensacola, home of the U.S. Navy’s Top Gun School. The rebel flag still flies in Panama City and Antifa and Black Lives Matter don’t cut a wide swath in Fort Walton Beach. Score another for the president.
3) Orlando, Tampa, and St. Pete- a boring mishmash of transplanted Mid-Westerners and tourists who never went home, the feel is more like Indiana rather than the Sunshine State. But with a heavy military vote and heartland values, the president is safe here.
4) The Keys- You kind of have to be a Floridian to understand the Keys. Most of us are culturally libertarian, if not libertine, and thus can live with the…ahem…cough…no holes barred attitude of Key West. Been going to the Keys since I was a teenager and some parts of it, like Islamorada and Long Key, are paradise. It will go for Biden.
5) The rest of the place- I didn’t categorize a bunch of venues like the Space Coast, Gainesville, north of Palm Beach but south of Orlando, etc. Like in Ocala? I’m convinced there are more Sasquatches than humans in the joint. Gainesville? Hippy college town. Other areas? Mostly great beaches and mellow people. Trump should take a majority here as well.
It may not be a landslide or pretty, but the president can pull off a win in the state. With that and Pennsylvania, mostly holding his own from 2016, and throwing in either Wisconsin or Michigan, we win the whole ballgame.