Steve October 10, 2020
residents-of-the-villages-‘came-out-of-the-closet’-for-biden

Hundreds of pro-Biden golf carts caravanned from Florida’s conservative The Villages retirement community to a nearby elections office in what AP describes as a “warning sign” for Trump.

The Villages is not the kind of place you’d expect a pro-Biden parade, as AP explains:

Politically, it long has been considered a conservative redoubt, so entrenched that it’s a must-stop for any national or statewide Republican running for office. One clear measure of its importance: Vice President Mike Pence’s scheduled visit Saturday.

The Morse family, which developed the community northwest of Orlando, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns over the years. During the 2008 presidential race, GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin drew a stadium-sized crowd with 60,000 residents flocking to see her in one of the community’s town squares.

But this week:

But on Wednesday, the scene told a markedly different story. An armada of as many as 500 golf carts gathered at the Sea Breeze Recreation Center to caravan to the nearby elections office, so folks could drop off ballots for Biden.

As each cart rolled into the parking lot and slid a ballot into a locked box under the watchful eye of elections supervisors, dozens lined the sidewalk, cheering and clapping every time a vote was cast.

In a related video, Villages resident Joan Branscome says, “I think we all came out of the closet for this election.”

This is worse than an ordinary loss of support for Trump. AP notes that older voters went for Trump by 9 percentage points in 2016 and they are especially important in Florida in this year.

In few places could any significant drop-off spell doom more profoundly than Florida, a state Trump almost certainly must win. Older adults historically are the most reliable voters, and Florida is infamous for its tight races. So even a modest drop in support could send Trump back to private life.

Dave Wasserman agrees:

Pro tip: if Trump doesn’t win Sumter Co. (The Villages) at least two-to-one, he’s not winning FL – or a second term. In 2016, it went 68%-29% Trump.

84% of Sumter’s ’16 vote was cast early/by mail (vs. 69% statewide), so we should have a good sense pretty early.

— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) October 10, 2020

If we see Sumter mail/early results at 7pm that come in something like 62%-37% for Trump w/ more than 75k ballots counted, I’d personally consider that to be game over for the president.

— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) October 10, 2020