Trump campaign banking on rural Florida voters to repeat 2016 success

'He’s going to these areas because he needs them to show up,' one election data analyst said

President Trump's 2020 presidential campaign has set its sights on Florida's rural voters, in an effort to repeat the electoral success that delivered the swing state for the commander-in-chief four years ago. 

The president will rally in Ocala on Friday as he tries to appeal to rural and exurban voters with the election less than three weeks out, according to The Orlando Sentinel. 

Trump exceeded 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s vote total in the state by the tens of thousands in Florida's rural areas when he faced former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 2016.

Counties like Lake, Marion, Brevard, Volusia, Hernando and Citrus north of Tampa are reportedly in the campaign's crosshairs and will be vital to capturing the state's 29 electoral votes. 

Trump ultimately won the state in the last presidential election cycle by around 1.2 percent or just under 113,000 votes. 


“He’s going to these areas because he needs them to show up,” election data analyst Matthew Isbell told The Sentinel. 

“The last thing he wants is a sort of fatalistic attitude from his supporters who think that maybe the election is doomed and they don’t show up,” he continued. “So going into these areas does have a degree of logic to it. Those areas are where a rally is better.”

Isbell also said Democrats are hanging their hat on mail-in voting to put Biden over the top. 

“There’s a push to get as many of those people as they can to vote, which kind of makes sense in an area like Ocala or these little blue pockets that exist across the state but are surrounded by a sea of red,” he added. “Getting [even] those small number of votes sent in is the best way to go.”

This news comes as Trump and Vice President Mike Pence rallied in Miami on Thursday, as the president prepares for a televised town hall, which is scheduled for the same time as his opponent Joe Biden's election forum, which will air on an opposing network. 


NBC’s one-hour Trump town hall is set to begin at 8 p.m., with Savannah Guthrie moderating, while ABC’s Biden town hall with moderator George Stephanopoulos will also kick off at 8 p.m., but is scheduled to fill a two-hour bloc.