Candidates are revving up their campaigning in the final days before Nov. 6.
The momentum can be felt in South Florida and across the country. More than 800,000 people have already voted across the region – surpassing those who voted early or by mail four years ago.
WLRN asked listeners about their motivations for going to vote.
Lisa Silvers of Parkland says she’s worried about the country’s direction.
“Now more than ever we need our voices and votes to reinforce tolerance,” she says. “Unless things change, I am not certain I will stay.”
For Tatiana Poole from Tamarac, the 2016 presidential election was a turning point.
“The 2016 election was piercing to my soul,” she says. “Though I have always been proactive in the election process, I am much more motivated and far more educated and informed than I ever have been.”
Marcos Perez of Miami says he’s fed up with partisan politics.
“I used to align myself with Democrats, but I have realized that neither party is here to help us. They have agendas paid for by the highest bidder," he says.
This year’s midterm energy can be attributed in part to interest in key statewide races like the gubernatorial contest between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum. Local races, especially in Miami-Dade County, have also made the distance between South Florida and Washington D.C. ever closer.
On the South Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson and a panel of editorial page editors – Nancy Ancrum of The Miami Herald, Rick Christie of the Palm Beach Post and Rosemary O’Hara of the Sun Sentinel – discuss the final days before the election.
WLRN: The economy historically has been the No. 1 issue ... economy, jobs, some kind of form of that. But that has begun to fall back. It's still among the top five issues, according to the public opinion polls. But it no longer is necessarily the No. 1 item.
ANCRUM: Policy really matters and policy that affects people's lives beyond being able to comfortably put food on the table. It matters – which is why education ranks high. Healthcare and the fear of losing coverage of pre-existing conditions. I think a lot of voters are asking – on both sides and both parties and NPAs – on what planet do some of these elected leaders live on where pre-existing conditions can be thrown under the bus? Those are major drivers, too.
Rosemary, you sat across the table from a number of those names that voters are seeing on the ballot. How connected are they to these real, what I call, "kitchen table" issues – be it health care, borrowing costs, paychecks, insurance, all the kinds of things that all kind of the Florida families deal with.
O'HARA: We interviewed candidates for 19 cities, and I don't really know that those really are the issues that they're talking about. They're sort of talking about city government and police contracts and do we have enough cops on the street. And what's the condition of our city hall? And what about transportation?
It is so hard for people to really be a one-issue voter. And so I think they're just sort of dividing into their camps and where we have our most impact as in weighing endorsements, it's not with the races. People know whom they're going to vote for. The big hits we're getting on our web sites and our endorsements are for the constitutional amendments and the retention of Florida judges and county charter questions.
WLRN has a voter's guide for all 105 possible questions on this year's ballot.