MIAMI – Florida, again.
The nation's largest dominant country has two official competitions on Tuesday for the governor and the US Senate along with several races that could help pinpoint who controls the US House. As usual, they are critical to the national hopes of Republicans and Republicans. And, as usual, most are too close to calling in a situation with a rapidly changing population that somehow manages to produce cliffhangers every other November.
Voters this year are concerned about the same issues that lie in other parts – health care and immigration, including – but are also driven by one year of natural and man-made disasters based on Florida.
The last one came on Friday when a man with a history of misdirectional and racist material online was charged to a yoga studio in Tallahassee and allegedly shot and killed two women and injured others before killing himself. This comes two weeks after the capture of Cesar Sayoc, a former stripper living in a truck in the Broward district, which the authorities have accused of sending bombs to people and organizations criticized by President Trump. And many continue to deal with the consequences of mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, in February, killing 17 students and staff.
"There is something to be in a bathroom with the first 18 graders that weep and tell them that we need to be quiet because we have to practice if a bad guy goes to school with a gun," said Deanna Ferello, 27, professor in Davie, near Parkland.
Speaking on Friday in a referendum of the Democratic Party in Miami headed by former President Barack Obama. He said that during a recent exercise a child said he thought he heard someone coming. He has to reassure him: There is no one there. This is just practical.
"It's horrible," he said.
At thorn, where is the Trump held a rally on Saturday, residents are still recovering from Hurricane Michael, who destroyed coastal communities and a military base. The center of the state has seen an influx of thousands of Puerto Ricans – new voters, possibly – since Hurricane Maria destroyed their island last year. On both shores, the harmful and toxic seaweed of the brine have flourished, while the green algae have choked the inland waters.
What voters will decide on these issues and events will have major repercussions on Tuesday as well as the presidential elections in 2020.
If Democrats have some hope of regaining control of the Senate, Senator Bill Nelson may need to stay in place against a strong challenge by Republican Governor Rick Scott. The polls showed Nelson to have a small lead.
The struggle to replace Scott, Republican Ron DeSantis, a select Trump candidate who would give the president a strong ally in Florida against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a progressive African American, who would become a Democratic dear if he pulls it. The polls also showed that Gillum retains a narrow edge over the former counselor.
A mosaic electorate
Florida is "purple" in the political language, but it is actually a patchwork of deep red and deep blue communities, with increasing ideological segregation (see: America 2018). In addition, there are some places so recently that they sprang from pine forests and swamps that they have not been given a color.
The demographic rule in Florida is that it is rising by almost a thousand people a day. It remains a paradise for pensioners, but more than half of the electorate is also under the age of 52.
This band and confusedthe electorate is a challenge for every candidate in a state campaign. The same applies to the size of the state. Pensacola in Key West is an 832-mile trail. A candidate must be comfortable in Dixie as well as in what is really a Latin American satellite. And there are places that are not real places yet.
Take a new highway from the heart of Tampa to the east, in the Brandon suburb, and visit the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. Ask staff where Brandon's center is located.
"There is nobody," he says.
Okay, where is the old part of town?
"That pasture cow back there," he says.
Among the new voters in Florida is Sonia Aviles, aged 65, who survived Hurricane Maria in her concrete home in Puerto Rico last year and 21 days later arrived at Orlando International Airport.
At the airport reception area for the hurricane survivors, Aviles was given the opportunity to register for a vote. She put herself as an independent one. So she thought in Puerto Rico.
He has changed his mind.
"I've been studying what's happening and now I know I'm a Republican," she said this past week as she had lunch with her daughter and granddaughter at Melao Bakery here in Central Florida.
He did not like how President Trampa hit paper watches on people on the island after the storm. He finds the president scary: "I'm afraid he will someday say" Let's burn books ".
Forty-five miles southwest of Fort Myers, John McLaughlin, 52, is a metal worker who moved six years ago to Philadelphia. Last Wednesday, he watched the American Gymnastics Trump Rally in a crowded arena alongside Interstate 75 in Estero.
"They say it's crazy, my thing is that the guy says what I think, so if you say he's crazy, you say I'm crazy," he said.
Walking to the arena, McLaughlin passed a protester with a "Impeach 45" sign and said to the man: "Why?"
"Why is he a liar," the protester said.
"Get out of here! You're crazy! You're confused!" McLaughlin said.
Republicans in Florida see the prosperity around them. They also see threats.
"Republicans want strong borders, no crime, no chaos, no caravans, Democrats want open borders and want to invite caravans after a caravan in our country, which brings the crime against crime," Trump said in the arena. "A Democratic victory on Election Day would be a brilliant call to traders, smugglers, drug dealers and gang members around the world.
Ron Gavin, 62, and his 51-year-old wife Lori, Fort Myers, watched the fight and are compatriot Trump fans.
"They call it the invasion, that's almost what it is – an invasion," Ron said.
"We have to take care of ours before we leave more," Lory said.
Craig Lougheed, 74, who worked in the insurance business and was in Southwestern Florida for seven years, said about Trump: "It's like a miracle maker. It does a story like no one has ever seen in America."
Del Waili, 69, from Okala, appeared in his t-shirt "God Hows Divorce". He said he likes Trump's attitude to taxes. Democrats? "They fully support the murder of the baby and I think they have a philosophy of controlling people through prosperity," said Whaley.
Scott and DeSantis each gave a few minutes to the microphone while Trump stood on one side. Scott is not campaigning strictly for red meat. He talked about how beautiful Americans were after Hurricane Michael.
"People from all over the country came down here and took care of our citizens," he said, in intelligent applause. "They brought food, water, generators, tarps, they did everything to look after our citizens, and you know what they did not say," Oh, what party are you? "
DeSantis was more violent, attacking Gillum repeatedly. When he spoke to a federal corruption examiner who confused Gillum's associates, the crowd was looking for "Lock! This! Over! Lock!
This was the preaching to those already convinced. At one point, Trump had asked people to pick up their hand if they voted. Thousands of hands were shot in the air. The majority of the crowd, rather.
"Wow," Trab said. He repeated the question, as if there was some confusion. All these hands were restarted.
"Then what are we doing here tonight?" "Goodbye," he joked.
The parties are ideologically organized and the tribes are strong, but people do not always vote predictably.
Consider Terry Maroney, 67, a retired widowed widow farmer living in the small town of Palmdale in County Glades, bordered by Lake Okeechobee. Can tell you the difference between sugar cane growing in the mucus and its cultivation in the sand. On paper it is in the "demographic" probable demographic, but it votes Democrat.
He oversees migrant farm workers and says they are working harder than native Americans. It is the first outside the truck to open a gate. He was terrified when one of the big cane companies got rid of good workers because they had no papers.
He notes that some of his neighbors fly to the Confederate flags.
"In a city like Palmdale, you still have racism, so when it comes to the governor there are people who are not going to vote for it because it's black," he said.
On the way to Sebring, truck driver Bruce Moore Jr., 39, of St. Petersburg, said he was trying to raise support between African-American colleagues for a constitutional change in the state that would restore voting rights to non-violent criminals have spent their time.
"Many blacks do not believe in the vote. It's sad," he said.
Barbara Cochlin, 61, who took Nissan Maxima to a car wash, said: "We used to vote people, not a party, but now the Democratic Party of Florida is very much worried."
He said he believes that Florida's sovereignty has motivated Democrats to be "aggressive." He would like to see the Republicans respond in kind. "You must find someone as a WWF wrestler," he said. "We need someone very vulgar".
On the road, in Frostproof, an orange city lying among the lakes, Justin Deen, 51, who sells vintage cars, leapt from Buick Skylark in 1963, while Hefner, running in a cool spot on the concrete.
Deen said he has no use for career careers. But he supports the Republicans. And there is no way to vote for Gillum, he said. "He wants to get involved with Trump. Do you think Trump wants to work with him?"
Concentration of supporters
Several thousands of people are trapped in Ice Palace Film Studios for the Democratic Party's referendum on Friday. The event began with a common prayer by a rabbi, a preacher and an imam. The rabbi read the names of the people targeted by the tube bombs. He then read the names of the two African-Americans who were recently murdered in Kentucky by an actor who allegedly had tried first to enter a black church. And then he read the names of the Jews killed by an actor on October 27 at their synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Speeches followed by many Democrats performing duties. People muttered as they waited for the big names to take their turn. When Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, took the stage, he asked to cancel the weekend – because everyone had to leave the poll.
The volume dropped deep when Nelson appeared and handed his lines as if he were talking to one's lounger. The senator seemed more alive when he mentioned the creation of new jobs in the aerospace sector and said, "We're going to Mars!"
In the end, Glum came in as the crowd went wild.
"I want a chance to go to Tallahassee and take over the NRA" – cheers from the crowd – "and let them know their time to run Tallahassee is over!" Gillum said. "No parent should send his child to school worrying about whether he will get them alive or in a body bag."
And then came Obama, sleeves bent, defending his legacy (economy goes well because Democrats clean up Republican chaos), violating Republicans' "fears and lies" and saying the election will give Americans the opportunity to reveal "the best angels of our nature".
Democrats left with a sense of self-confidence.
"We got it in the bag, no doubt about that," said Victoria Lewis, 73, referring to the governor's race. "Because the other man has no idea."
But Florida Democrats are not rumored at mid-year rates, and nearly three out of 10 Florida voters are independent and it's hard to know what to do. There is likely to be a separate outcome, with one party winning the Senate's struggle and the other with the government.
The policy can also separate a household. Sebring's 75-year-old Vern Hollingsworth knows all this, revealed during a brief break from Cadillac 2013 depilation to his house hangar at Hammock Mobile Estates.
He said he has already been voted on the Democratic ticket. But she added, "it really does not count because my wife voted just the opposite of me."
That is always the case, he said. It's D, it's R.
So how do Hollingsworths resolve their political differences?
"You never get what has been solved," she said, and then she returned to Cadillac's hair removal.