US election 2016: Trump and Clinton target Florida

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trump_v_hillary(BBC) Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are set to campaign in Florida, a key battleground state that could tip Tuesday’s US presidential election.

Florida is the largest swing state and is a must-win for Mr Trump.

The Republican candidate will later fly to North Carolina before heading west to Nevada.

Opinion polls in recent days have suggested Mr Trump is gaining support but he still remains behind Mrs Clinton in most surveys.

In Florida, the contest appears to be tight. Real Clear Politics’ poll average puts the Democratic candidate ahead, but poll analysis website FiveThirtyEight says Mr Trump has a 52.4% chance of winning the state.

US President Barack Obama won Florida in 2012 by a margin of just 0.9% over Republican Mitt Romney.

Candidates need 270 electoral college votes to win the presidency. Florida is worth 29.

Some 37 million early voters have already cast their ballots. Reports suggest many more Latino voters are turning out early in key states including Florida, Arizona and Nevada compared to past elections.

After campaigning in South Florida, Mrs Clinton will make an appearance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the evening alongside pop star Katy Perry.


Florida’s Latino vote

A woman joins Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as he holds up a
Some Latinos support Trump, despite his tough rhetoric on immigrants (Reuters photo)

Hispanics make up 16% of registered voters in Florida this election, the Associated Press reports, up from 13.5% in 2012.

American Hispanics mostly vote Democrat but Florida’s large Cuban population – which make up 31% of the state’s Hispanic vote – have traditionally voted Republican.

Donald Trump recently began to speak out against the US lifting its economic embargo on Cuba in a play for older voters, analysts say.

But they also point out that as more younger Cubans have settled in Miami, support for warming US-Cuba relations – which Mrs Clinton backs – is growing among the community. Polls now suggest that more Miami Cubans are against the embargo than for it.

Mr Trump’s divisive comments about immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere have also angered many Latinos.


Both candidates held rallies in Ohio and Pennsylvania on Friday.

In Cleveland, Mrs Clinton ended the day’s campaigning at a concert, where she was joined by the singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay Z.

The Clinton campaign is putting on several events with high-profile figures from the entertainment world as it tries to energise young and minority voters.

Rocker Jon Bon Jovi will later appear with Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine in St. Petersburg, Florida.

On Friday night, Mr Trump told supporters in Hershey, Pennsylvania that he “didn’t have to bring J-Lo or Jay Z” to draw crowds.

“I am here all by myself. Just me. No guitar, no piano, no nothing,” he said.


Mrs Clinton has faced renewed scrutiny and a torrent of negative headlines after the FBI said last week it was looking into emails that may be connected to her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state in the Obama administration.

Mrs Clinton has said she is confident the new inquiry will not change the FBI’s original finding in July, which criticised her but cleared her of any illegal acts.

The Clinton camp have questioned the timing of the announcement.

Two senior Democrats have now called for an investigation into the role of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump surrogate, after he appeared to suggest he knew about the inquiry before it was announced.

“I had no role in it. Did I hear about it? You’re darn right I heard about it,” he said in a Fox News interview.

But Mr Giuliani later denied having prior knowledge of the inquiry.

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