LIVE: Get Ready Florida Here Comes Hillary Clinton & Donald Trump

Florida is a must win for both candidates

Sunshine State  voters are about to see more of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton directly after their first head to head debate. Both candidates and their running mates along with high profile surrogates will be in Florida from now till election day.

The Clinton campaign didn’t wait for the debate to start, yesterday they dispatched vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine to Florida’s panhandle for a number of events in the critical state ahead of time to try to lock down votes.

Trump will be in Melbourne International Airport at 7 pm tonight for a rally. Trump is likely to win Melbourne and surrounding Brevard County, solidly Republican territory where GOP voters outnumber registered Democrats by about 40,000.

But Trump and Clinton both need party loyalists to turn out in the Nov. 8 election.

Clinton will be on the campaign trail on Friday in Broward County, the place where Democrat candidates always go to try to amass votes. Broward was also friendly territory for Clinton during her fierce presidential primary against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, with Clinton scooping up about 72 percent of the vote in the county.

Also during her campaign swing Friday, Clinton is scheduled to go a little ways up Interstate 95 to St. Lucie County. While St. Lucie is a mid-sized county, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, and the county went heavily for Clinton in the presidential primary.

While Clinton works Southeast Florida, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will campaign Friday and Saturday across the top of the state. While full details had not been released Monday morning, Bill Clinton is expected to make stops in Panama City, Tallahassee and Jacksonville.

Tallahassee, home to a large number of government workers and two state universities, is a Democratic stronghold. Also, while Jacksonville typically goes for Republicans in statewide races, it has a large number of African-American voters — a group that Hillary Clinton is looking to turn out.

Bill Clinton’s plan to campaign in Panama City is a little more unusual, as Republicans dominate Northwest Florida. Bay County, which includes Panama City, has nearly two times as many registered Republicans as Democrats.

Meanwhile, Kaine, a Virginia senator, tried to rally support for Clinton in advance of the debate. He appeared Sunday in Miami and was scheduled to campaign Monday in Lakeland and Orlando, including attending a debate-watching party at Church Street Station in downtown Orlando. He also is expected to make an appearance at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday in Orlando.

Florida’s 29 electoral votes are among the biggest prizes in the presidential election, making up more than 10 percent of the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. Recent polls have showed Trump and Clinton in a virtual dead heat in the state, with a Suffolk University poll last week giving Trump a one-point edge — a statistical tie.


Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.