President Trump is one vote closer to victory in the all-important battleground state of Florida — after casting his own ballot there Saturday morning.
The president, who changed his official address from New York to the Sunshine State last year, took advantage of Florida’s early-voting law to mark his ballot in person at the Main Library in West Palm Beach. He spent Friday night at his nearby Mar-a-Lago resort after spending the day on the campaign trail in his new home state.
“I voted for a guy named Trump. But it’s an honor to be voting,” he said. “It was very secure, vote much more secure than when you send in a ballot, I can tell you.”
A small crowd of supporters was there to greet him, waving Trump campaign banners and American flags.
Florida and its 29 Electoral College votes is a must-win for Trump, who took it by a single percentage point in 2016.
Polls show Democrat Joe Biden with a slim — though narrowing — 1.5% lead in Florida, according to RealClearPolitics. The president has hit the campaign trail there with a vengeance, with four Florida rallies in the last two weeks.
Early voting, both by mail and in person, has taken on outsized importance this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. As of Friday, with 12 days to go until Election Day, 4.8 million Floridians had already voted — 34% of the state’s registered electorate.
Democrats took an early lead in the vote-by-mail category, building up a 569,000-vote advantage in returned ballots, according to the US Elections Project. But Republicans — heeding Trump’s repeated warnings about mail-in voter fraud — surged to the polls this week when in-person early voting began.
Vice President Mike Pence has also voted early, dropping off his absentee ballot Friday in Indianapolis, Ind. while on a midwest campaign swing.
Trump headed to Lumberton, NC, after casting his ballot for the first of three Saturday campaign rallies.