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Florida At The Center Of 2020's Presidential Race

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On this episode of the South Florida Roundup: A panel of editorial page editors reflect on the presidential election and its campaign footprint in South Florida.

The presidential campaigns have been spending a lot of time in Florida recently.

The Trump campaign made stops in Broward and Miami-Dade counties on Thursday. That same day, the president participated in a televised town hall from the Perez Art Museum Miami in downtown Miami.

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Democratic nominee Joe Biden came to Pembroke Pines and Miramar earlier this week. HIs appearances were focused on trying to win over senior and Black voters.

On the South Florida Roundup, three editorial page editors from South Florida’s major news outlets — Nancy Ancrum with the Miami Herald, Rick Christie with the Palm Beach Post and Rosemary O'Hara with the South Florida Sun Sentinel— talked about presidential politics with host Tom Hudson.

Here’s an excerpt of their conversation:

ROSEMARY O'HARA: The greatest number of voter registrations these days is people who who register as no party affiliation. It's a reflection of our frustration with the two political party system. But the reality is that one of these two men are going to be president, and if you want your voice to matter, you have to pick one or the other.

TOM HUDSON: And we've been talking about the unbelievable appetite for vote-by-mail, driven, no doubt by interest, of course, in this contentious election, but also during the pandemic. But, you know, the ultimate voter turnout still means there are, in Florida, tens of thousands of registered voters who aren't casting ballots.

NANCY ANCRUM: This election — and it's not an original thought — it’s the greatest battle for the soul of this country in recent history. And I really think that undecided voters are going to have to think a little more macro than micro in terms of how they frame and how they assess what is happening in this country at large. I'm of a mind that you do not have to be hopelessly in love with a candidate, but you do have to gauge where you want this country to be and which candidate can take you there and what you're willing to live with.

HUDSON: We're hearing from voters, human nature to want to vote for something or for somebody. We saw this trend certainly four years ago — voting against. Is it, "I don't want the other side?"

RICK CHRISTIE: You have a number of people, like — anybody except the incumbent. When you have a figure who is polarizing, you know, as the current president has been with a large part of the population, you're going to get a lot of people saying, "Look, I don't have a problem with the way they've done the economy or the fact that they put certain types of judges on the on the judicial bench but I just can't support the lack of civility and the division that this person continues to sow."

But I think this time around, on the other side, you have an individual that a lot of folks do want to vote for.

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Alexander Gonzalez produces the afternoon newscasts airing during All Things Considered. He enjoys helping tell the South Florida story through audio and digital platforms. Alex is interested in a little of everything from business to culture to politics.
Tom Hudson is WLRN's Senior Economics Editor and Special Correspondent.