by Larry Kuranowicz, Voter Outreach
Looking back at the fateful words of the late Tim Russert, on a night in 2000 when many of us went to bed thinking Al Gore was going to be the next President, only to wake and find out it was not to be.
Once again in 2020, Florida will be key in deciding the next President, only perhaps this time it will not be Florida, Florida, Florida, but rather, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina.
Turnout is crucial to winning elections. But in the US Presidential election, it is geography that can sometimes play an even greater role. In 2016 the election of Donald Trump was the result of 77,000 votes spread over three states, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, that made a man who was broadly unpopular nationwide the 45th President.
The key demographic behind this result was the white, working-class voter. Unlike college-educated white voters, whose turnout has increased in the past 25 years and who have tended slightly Democrat the past four, white working-class turnout has seen a steady decline. In 1992 they made up 61% of the vote. By 2016 this had dropped to 44%. In 2020 they will account for just north of 40%.
Having long ago lost the white working-class voter, this fact would seem to bode well for Democrats, except for geography. The concentration of these voters in the Rust Belt gave America four years of Trump, and could very well produce four more!
The key play for Democrats is to capitalize on the shifting demographics of the Sun Belt. With growing populations that reflect American diversity, these former bastions of GOP power are now within the grasp of Democrats.
And this brings us back to turnout.
Experts predict the 2020 election to be not a wave but a tsunami of voter turnout, surpassing the modern-era record of 61.6% set in 2008, perhaps even breaking the all-time record of 65.7% set in 1908.
However, this increased turnout is expected to rebound to both sides. The decline in white working-class voter turnout has slowed in the Trump era, and as we have seen there is no boundary of honesty or decency he will not blow past in order to turn out his base.
The way Democrats win, the way they overcome the electoral college and gerrymandering and put an end to Republican minority rule is to maximize turnout in three critical states, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.
This is doable for Democrats. It simply requires that we all contribute a little time. Starting by making sure that all our like-minded family an friends vote!
Volunteer some time in your neighborhood to get Democrats to enroll in Vote By Mail! Florida elections are so close that your activism could literally tip the scales!
When Tim Russert said “Florida, Florida, Florida.” it ended up the US Presidential election turned on 500 votes! We need to be prepared for an election that is that close again!
There are three key States that we need to make swing our way.
Three key States in 2020, and one of them in ours to deliver!
Florida, Florida, Florida!