Pence Tallahassee visit could play major role in election outcome

Posted at 5:14 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 17:14:16-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — President Trump won every county in the ABC 27 viewing area in 2016, except Leon and Gadsden Counties.

In those counties, Hillary Clinton beat him by more than two dozen points.

That may be one reason Vice President Pence is making his way here.

Hans Hassell, an assistant professor with Florida State University's Department of Political Science, says these rallies play a major role when every single vote counts.

"This is really about trying to mobilize the Republican supporters," said Hassell. "It's evident that they view this as a very important state as part of a very crucial election."

Though Leon and Gadsden Counties both went blue in 2016, there are still Republican votes to be had here. Hassell says the push to win over those voters could actually work against the campaign, though.

"There are some voters who are going to say, 'great; I'm enthusiastic. I'm going to work even harder,'" Hassell said. "There are others who are going to be scared or angry. That's going to motivate them to work even harder for the other side."

As of Friday afternoon in Leon County, Democrats have returned more than 12,000 ballots in early voting. Republicans have returned about half that.

President Trump visited Tallahassee nearly four years ago, almost to the day during his first campaign.