In every election, the state of Florida gets more attention on election night than at any other time. It's a key swing state, and could make or break a candidate's path to the presidency. Can Trump win without Florida? According to most experts, there's no way he can win without this important state. As anyone who passed their high school government class knows, American elections come down not to overall numbers, but to electoral votes. That means that certain states are all but guaranteed to go to either a Republican or Democratic candidate. Other states are toss ups.
According to most analysts, the states that will almost certainly go "Blue", meaning Democratic, already give Hillary Clinton around 239 electoral votes. These include big, populous states such as California and New York. With 270 electoral votes needed to win, with the 29 votes from Florida, Clinton will have all but closed up the election. This swing state, also called a battleground state, has historically been intrinsically important in almost every recent election. Who could forget, after all, the election in 2000 when the whole thing came down to a "hanging chad" from that very state. According to CNN, Donald Trump himself has said that he doesn't see a path to the White House without this state.
If Clinton wins Florida, this race will go faster than a Hamilton ticket at face value.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) November 9, 2016
Florida is not the only battleground state in this election by any means. Other important states for both candidates include North Carolina and Ohio, as well as states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, but to a lesser degree. Whereas most polls predicted that Michigan and Pennsylvania would go to Clinton from the beginning, these other states were much more divided along party lines.
Luckily, Florida and North Carolina were both some of the earliest states to get real results in, meaning that worried Americans had less time to spend biting their nails with anxiety over which way Florida would go. Obviously, none of this is an exact science, and technically even without Florida Donald Trump could possibly win the election. However it would be highly unlikely. This is the reason that Trump and Clinton have both been spending a lot of time in Florida over the past week. Both camps know that without this important state, their path to the presidency will be much more difficult.
Without Florida it will be virtually impossible for Trump to win, but this state is not quite as crucial for Clinton. Even without this state, she could still take this thing.