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Oliver Laughland, the Guardian’s US southern bureau chief, talks to Anushka Asthana about his recent road trip through Florida. He discusses his time in The Villages, a sprawling retirement community, which last year became infamous when a Donald Trump supporter was captured on video shouting “white power” during a confrontation. The president retweeted the video then deleted it after an online backlash. Laughland found residents who used to live harmoniously viciously divided by their support for Trump or Joe Biden.
Next stop was a thriving coffee shop: Conservative Grounds in Pinellas, which has been a bellwether county since 1980. Trump supporters were out in force: unafraid, empowered and organised. Laughland also discusses meeting Pinellas’s incumbent congressman, Charlie Crist. The Democrat says he has spoken to many people who voted for Trump in 2016 who now regret it. “They voted for Trump because they wanted radical change. And then they would say to me, ‘But not this radical; this is out of control.’”
Despite his optimism, neither Crist’s campaign staff nor the Pinellas county Democratic party can point to a single person willing to talk about a change of heart. It underlines the reality: only a small proportion of Florida’s electorate, about 4-5% are really up for grabs, according analysts, with the rest deeply loyal to their respective parties, and it is that critical mass that is likely to swing the vote in a tight presidential race.
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Source: The Guardian
Keyword: US election 2020: an ugly fight in the critical swing state of Florida – podcast | News