Clearly, Florida will play a significant role in the 2020 presidential election, and specifically Central Florida.
The choice of Orlando as the location for President Donald Trump’s presidential reelection announcement Tuesday evening continues to reflect the significance Central Florida holds in both state and national politics.
Monday morning — 36 hours before Trump’s announcement at the 20,000 seat Amway Center arena — supporters had already started camping out waiting for an opportunity to see Trump Tuesday evening.
“A president of the United States has never come to our city to announce that he’s running for president of the United States of America, let alone the state of Florida,” Charles Hart, chair of the Orange County Republican Executive Committee, told WFTV.
As Florida remains a key swing state in presidential elections, the I-4 corridor has long been considered a crucial area within the state and Orlando is at the heart of the corridor that runs from the Daytona to Tampa areas.
“You’ve got to perform pretty well in the I-4 corridor if you’re going to win the presidency,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told the Orlando Sentinel last week.
A new poll of voter opinions might seem to be cause for concern for the Trump campaign. The survey conducted by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows 69 percent of registered voters disapprove of Trump’s performance as president. The same number of voters say they plan to vote for whoever will be President Trump’s Democratic opponent next year.
“When Donald Trump arrives in Orlando this week voters will greet him with a simple message: Florida will defeat you in 2020,” said Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Juan Peñalosa.
But any concern over the poll numbers is countered by the fact that PPP is a Democratic-leaning pollster and was commissioned by the Florida Democratic Party. Democrats also hold an edge in voter registration in that part of the state.
In another illustration of the significance of Tuesday night’s launch of President Trump’s reelection announcement, a Democratic Super PAC has launched a six-figure digital advertising buy (see below).
Priorities USA is paying for the digital campaign which focuses on health care, an issue that Democrats have focused on. The PAC says the campaign shows “how Trump’s economic policies are out of touch with the needs of everyday Floridians.”
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign will feature a daylong, tailgate-like event leading up to Tuesday night’s rally featuring the president.
Both sides realize the significance of the event for Orlando and Central Florida.
“It really reinforces our position that the White House will be won or lost here in Central Florida,” Wes Hodge, chair of the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee, told WFTV.