2016 race tightens in Florida

New CNN/ORC polls: Trump edges Clinton in FL, OH
New CNN/ORC polls: Trump edges Clinton in FL, OH


    New CNN/ORC polls: Trump edges Clinton in FL, OH


New CNN/ORC polls: Trump edges Clinton in FL, OH 05:01

Story highlights

  • The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both targeting Florida
  • It's living up to its reputation as a perennial swing state

(CNN)Florida -- a perennial swing state -- is living up to its reputation ahead of the November election.

A CNN/ORC poll last week found Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump almost evenly matched.
The survey among likely voters gave Trump 47% to Clinton's 44% -- with a 3.5% margin of error -- wiping out Clinton's bump following the Democratic convention in August. With 50 days until the election, Florida political experts say it's anyone's guess who will come out on top in the Sunshine State.
    "So if I had to call it today, it would simply be, flip a coin," says USF Tampa political scientist Susan MacManus, a distinguished professor at the University of South Florida. "We're to the point where anything is possible. This is just one of those kind of elections."
    All eyes are on central Florida's I-4 corridor, historically responsible for swinging elections in either direction. The area stretching from Tampa to Daytona Beach is diverse in politics, age, racial make-up and social economics.
    The two Florida's are apparent by traveling just 60 miles.
    The Villages, a master planned senior community centered on manicured golf courses, is staunchly Republican and full of largely white retirees. It's a must-stop for any GOP state, federal or presidential campaign.
    Trump's running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, visited the community over the weekend. He opened his rally asking, "How many Republicans in The Villages?" followed by a huge roar from a packed ballroom at the conference and activity center.
    An hour south is Orlando, a city with a Democratic mayor since 2003. It is booming with diversity, including Puerto Ricans on the east side, African-Americans on west side and Vietnamese, hipsters, whites and an LGBT community in the middle.
    In downtown Orlando on Saturday, a Latin festival filled the air with salsa music and the aroma of Puerto Rican food. It took place on the same grounds of the Dr. Philips Center, where thousands turned out to remember 49 people slaughtered at the Pulse Nightclub in June.
    Sandra Calixto, a Hillary Clinton supporter who attended the festival, believes Trump is racist.
    "The main thing is he has discriminated against people with a disability and I have a son with disability," she said. "And for me, he is coo coo."
    Clinton is outspending Donald Trump on TV ads in the state by a 4-to-1 margin.
    Clinton spent $38.7 million to Trump's $9.2 million throughout the general election. In the past week alone Clinton bought over $5 million in ads -- Trump spent under $1 million, a clear difference in campaign strategy.
    The campaigns are also taking different courses in setting up offices across the state. Clinton has 57 offices and over 90,000 volunteers, according to a Democratic National Committee memo.
    Trump has relied heavily on state Republican field offices instead of setting up his own. Between the RNC and Trump, 60 offices are open with 210 paid staff and thousands of volunteers according to Trump's Florida director Susan Wiles.
    "I am one of those that doesn't think that brick and mortar matter that much," says Wiles. "There are plenty of places for volunteers to gather."