EXPLAINER: Why AP called Florida for Trump

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Staff at the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office receive and count ballots late into the night Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

WHY AP CALLED FLORIDA FOR TRUMP:

In Florida, one of 2020′s most crucial battleground states, President Donald Trump’s strength in his recently adopted home state delivered a victory over Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The Associated Press called the race for Trump at 12:34 a.m. Wednesday, after an analysis of ballots statewide concluded there were not enough outstanding to allow Democratic nominee Joe Biden to catch up.

Florida is typically decided on razor-thin margins and Trump carried the state in 2016 by just 1.2 percentage points. It is one of the biggest Election Day prizes, offering 29 electoral votes.

With 96% of the expected vote counted, Trump led Biden by over 375,000 votes. The remaining vote left to be counted in Democratic-leaning areas of the state was not enough to overcome Trump’s lead of about 3 percentage point.

In order to win, Biden needed to run up massive margins in the three heavily Democratic counties in south Florida. But early returns showed him underperforming in Miami-Dade County.

That’s where Trump and his allies have been branding Democrats as socialists in advertisements for more than a year — a message geared toward south Florida’s Cuban population, many of whom fled the island nation after Fidel Castro’s communist government came to power.

Florida was a must-win for Trump. Without it, his path to the presidency would have drastically narrowed.

He saturated the state with TV advertising and shifted his residency from New York to Palm Beach County, where he owns the Mar-a-Lago Club, which has been billed as the “Winter White House.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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