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Why Donald Trump is doing surprisingly well in Florida

ON A SWELTERING Saturday afternoon, Joe Gruters and Linda Trocine, Republican party chairmen respectively for Florida and for Seminole County, were hunting for votes the old-fashioned way: by knocking on doors. Armed with an app that aggregates masses of voter and consumer data, they were targeting NPAs (no party affiliation) and persuadable Democrats in Lake Mary, a northern suburb of Orlando, and they were hitting their targets. A rangy, sandy-haired NPA with a deep smoker’s voice handed the flyers back: “Don’t waste ‘em on me. I’m voting Republican straight down the ticket.” A Latino NPA mowing his lawn enthused about President Donald Trump, as did a 50-ish Democrat watching a college football game in his garage. “We’re out there pounding the pavement every day,” says Mr Gruters. “We’ve knocked on more than 1.7m doors...while Joe Biden and his team are basically trying to win this campaign from their basements.”

That is not entirely true. Mr Biden visited central Florida on September 15th, and at weekends his Hispanic supporters have been organising raucous parades of cars decked out in Biden flags in south Florida. But his campaign relies on contacting voters virtually rather than in-person, reasoning that during an epidemic people would rather be called or texted than visited. That may change as election day approaches. Mr Biden...



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