Clinton Outspends Trump 4 to 1 in Florida, But Race is Tightening
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her allies have outspent Donald Trump handily across the nation, and especially in Florida. Nevertheless, polls show the race tightening to a statistical tie.
A full 95 percent of all campaign television ad spending scheduled between now and Election Day comes from Clinton's team, according to an ABC News analysis of CMAG/Kantar Media data. Clinton's campaign and her allies have reserved $143.2 million in television ads for the final stretch, while Trump's team has only spent $6.8 million.
Florida presents a particularly stark example. Clinton is spending $36.6 million in that state, while Trump's numbers reach a mere $700,000 — that's 53 times more money for Clinton than for Trump. Florida is the largest of four crucial states for Trump's campaign. If he wins Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, he will likely take the White House. If he loses just one, however, Clinton is almost a shoe-in. This year has proven bogus for most conventional wisdom, but Electoral College math does not lie, and neither do campaign ledgers.
Clinton's TV ad spending also dwarfs that of Trump in the other key states. In Ohio, Clinton's spending $20.9 million to Trump's $1.8 million. In Pennsylvania, she has $18.8 million to his $1.5 million. In North Carolina, her numbers add up to $14.3 million to his $1.3 million.
The Democratic candidate leads by a mere 1.9 percent nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics average. In Florida, the race is at an exact tie, with both Trump and Clinton at 45.0 percent. A recent Monmouth University poll, released Tuesday, shows Clinton five points ahead, with key support coming from minorities.
Florida's presidential races usually come down to the I-4 corridor, a region between Tampa and Orlando which is highly contested politically. The state's northern third usually goes to the Republican, while the heavily Latino south often favors the Democrat. While generalizations always break down on some level, the usual trend among the Latino community is that Cubans often favor Republicans, while Puerto Ricans side with Democrats.
Nevertheless, Clinton's low favorability has even the Puerto Ricans in the I-4 hesitant to pull the Democratic lever. The Associated Press's Steve Peoples reported Wednesday that Clinton's allies concede she has work to do among the Puerto Rican community.
"Hillary no sirve," declared Kissimmee resident Heriberto Ferrer. This means "Hillary is useless" in Spanish. Ferrer is no fan of Trump — he flatly told a Republican volunteer, "I don't want Trump to win. Period." — but he certainly doesn't sound "Ready for Hillary." He said he can't rule out voting for Trump, as he dislikes her so much.
Ferrer's neighbor, Amparo Vargas, had a similar negative opinion of both candidates. "She's a liar," he said in Spanish. "I have no trust in Hillary. And I think Trump is a crazy man."
This unpopularity might be one of the reasons Clinton's campaign and her allies have invested more political advertising along the I-4 corridor than any other media market in the nation. Since June 28, her team spent a combined $28 million on advertising in the Tampa and Orlando areas, according to Kantar Media's political ad tracker. Trump's team, by contrast, has only invested slightly more than $5 million.
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