There’s one given in the presidential election. President Donald Trump really needs to win the State of Florida. That’s clear simply due to the number of electoral votes. However, that begs the question. Can Trump win without Florida?
Is it even possible?
The answer is that yes, Trump can still win the election without Florida. But it would be very, very hard, and his pathways to victory narrow considerably. He will need to pick up a state in the Midwest to counter a Joe Biden victory in the Sunshine State.
According to The New York Times, former Vice President Joe Biden told Floridians, “Here in Florida you can determine the outcome of this election. We win Florida and it’s all over.” But is it?
Here’s what you need to know:
How Trump Can Win the Election Without Florida
We ran a scenario that gives Florida to Biden. Florida has a whopping 29 electoral votes. We found a couple pathways to victory for Trump even without Florida, but they represent a difficult map for the president.
In this map, Trump loses Florida and Wisconsin but still wins by picking up Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
We created our maps using RealClearPolitic’s customizable electoral college map.
Yes, there are other different ways for Trump to win the election without Florida, but it means he would have to win pretty much every battleground state. For example, he could lose Florida and Nevada but win by picking up the three Midwestern states he flipped in 2016 – Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
If Trump loses Florida, though, there’s another sure thing: He needs Pennsylvania. There aren’t many combinations that get him the presidency without Florida, but there are a lot of ways to lose. In this map, we gave Nevada to Biden.
Trump can’t lose all three Midwestern states he won in 2016 (Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania) AND lose Florida. The math doesn’t work. Michigan and Pennsylvania would get him through.
What the Polls Show in Florida
Three recent polls have shown Trump leading Florida. Six recent polls have shown Biden leading Florida.
In 2016, the final Real Clear Politics polling average for Florida showed Trump +0.2. Results: Trump +1.2 (Trump +1.0 Ahead of Polls), according to RCP.
Trump has been holding rallies in Florida. Both candidates appeared in Tampa, underscoring the significance of the state.
Florida Politics.com reported that most election observers believe the election will come down to the margins of victory for Biden in Miami-Dade, the populous area of southern Florida. One ominous sign for Trump is that older voters, who broke for him in 2016 are breaking for Biden, at least in the most recent poll. According to The New York Times, Biden has been trying hard to drive out the Black vote in Florida.
Florida has the most electoral votes of any battleground state. The state has been incredibly close before as everyone who remembers hanging chads and Bush vs. Gore understands.