Nov 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Florida swing voters desperate for an end to the race

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After months of a grueling campaign season, some swing voters around Florida are desperately searching for an end to this cycle — even if it means accepting a President Biden win after they voted for President Trump.

Why it matters: Fatigue over the level of political outreach and content they've been inundated with during this race — as well as fear that there will be extreme civil unrest no matter who wins — is pushing these voters to accept a president they don't even want if it means the chaos will end.

  • This was the biggest takeaway from our special post-election Engagious/Schlesinger focus group of 12 Florida voters who supported Barack Obama in 2012 and switched to Donald Trump in 2016.
  • Five of them voted for Biden this time, while the remaining seven stuck with Trump — but only three participants said they think Trump can still win the election.
  • While a focus group is not a statistically significant sample like a poll, the responses show how some voters are thinking and talking about the 2020 election in crucial states.

What they're saying: "If he won then he won," said David S. of Biden, even though he voted for Trump. "I'm not going to hold a grudge or get mad. I'm just going to go to work and go home."

  • His comments reflect a level of acceptance with Biden win that some of the other Trump voters shared.
  • Zac C., who voted Trump, said if Biden is announced as the winner, he'll just "accept it and move on. When you lose, you lose. There's nothing you can do about it since it's already done and over with."

For the few Trump voters who were concerned about fraud changing the outcome, they find solace in a recount, saying it would be easier to accept the result if election officials double-check the work.

  • "If you count things twice, you're more likely to catch a correction," said Curshinda B., who voted to re-elect Trump. She went on to say that some Trump supporters — not Trump himself — would be responsible for his loss.
  • "I believe more of his supporters have kind of sealed his fate," she added. "I don't think he stuck his foot in his mouth. I think his supporters have by bullying people at the polls and those type of things."

Some said that if Trump successfully pursues his litigation in places like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and the courts have to step in to help decide the outcome, that's fine, too — even if it goes to the candidate they didn't support.

  • "That reaction is kind of one of the reasons why I am not voting for him," said Charlene C., a Biden voter who dislikes how Trump casts doubt on the legitimacy of the election. "I know that he had a TV show for a very long time and a lot of times, it seems like he's still living in a reality TV world."
  • "I'm just looking for that president who can be more presidential, hopefully unite the country, and not cause chaos and division," said Richard J., who voted for Biden.

By the numbers: Trump is projected to win Florida and its 29 electoral votes with 51% of the vote to Biden's 47%.

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