White House worried about GOP chances in key Florida races: report

The White House fears Democrats could overtake Republicans in key Florida races, a scenario that would complicate President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s plans to campaign for reelection in the state.

Politico reports two people familiar with Trump’s plans say that the president will visit Florida at least twice before the upcoming midterm elections next month in the hopes of cementing support for both Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) in his senate bid against Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA, SpaceX and the private-public partnership that caused the flight of the Crew Dragon Lobbying world The most expensive congressional races of the last decade MORE (D) and Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGOP tentatively decides on Jacksonville for site of convention DeSantis pushing to host Republican National Convention in Florida Florida bars and theaters to reopen starting Friday, DeSantis says MORE (R), who is running for governor.

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Top Republican allies in the state say told the news outlet that Democratic strength in the state ahead of the midterms should have the White House “worried.”

“A Gov. Gillum would be a significant obstacle for a Trump presidential campaign in Florida, and a Gov. DeSantis would be a significant asset,” Mac Stipanovich, a GOP lobbyist, told Politico.

“If they think Florida’s important, which I’m certain they do,” Stipanovich added of the White House, “they should be quite worried.”

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“Florida is the most important purple state in the country. The president is a lot more popular than Democrats realize,” another Florida lobbyist with close ties to the president, told Politico. “Motivating his voters is going to be the difference between winning and losing in Florida.”

Scott and Nelson’s race remains in a dead heat, while Gillum leads his opponent by single digits in a recent poll of the Florida gubernatorial race.

Trump won the state of Florida over his opponent, Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE, in 2016 by less than two percent of the vote, or less than 200,000 votes. More than 800,000 voters in the state have already voted early, indicating a massive increase in turnout across the country from the last midterm elections in 2014.

“All signs point to a higher turnout election,” Florida political scientist Michael McDonald told The Hill last week. “Where we can make comparisons, so far the numbers are up from 2014. Which is not a surprise because 2014 was an exceptionally low turnout election.”

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