Neck-and-Neck Polls Bring Biden to Tampa

Biden is leading in Florida polls by just 1.6 points as of Sep. 15.

Alex Wilson


Alex Wilson, Reporter

   Presidential candidate Joe Biden landed at the Tampa International Airport on Tuesday to hold a round-table event for U.S military veterans at Hillsborough Community College as one of his two stops in the swing state. He was met with nearly 100 people with Trump merchandise at the entrance of the college, far outnumbering his own supporters that came to meet him there. With neck-and-neck polling data in Florida, Biden attempts to connect with ex-military voters, who may be becoming increasingly dissatisfied with President Trump. 

   A survey conducted in August by the Military Times shows that only 38 percent of the 1,018 active-duty troops surveyed held a favorable view of Trump, and revealed that around 40 percent of respondents said they would vote for Biden. With Biden leading by only about two points in Florida polls, a trip to the crucial swing state proved necessary, especially so with a focus on active-duty and ex-military voters. Hillsborough County is home to about 94,000 veterans, and close by MacDill Air Force Base, making the county a hotspot for connecting with veteran voters. 

   During the event, Biden referenced an article released recently about Trump calling deceased and captured soldiers’ “suckers” and “losers.” Though the president has since denied ever saying anything negative of fallen soldiers, Biden proceeds to express to the attendants that President Trump is not able to “conceive the idea of selfless service.”  

   According to official Hillsborough County voter data, as of August, there are more registered Democrat voters than voters belonging to another political party. However, in the latest primary election in Hillsborough County, Republicans had the greatest voter turnout compared to other political parties, despite there being more eligible Democrat voters. Based on this data, the outcome of the 2020 election in Hillsborough County could be unpredictable. It is important that the voter turnout percentage is larger than it has been in previous years because of how close the candidates are in the polls. Hillsborough County residents can register to vote at any public office, or by printing out the application online, up until 29 days before the election.