With the presidential election less than two weeks away, emotions and campaigning are ramping up in the pristine central Florida retirement community called The Villages, long coveted by Republican candidates for its reliably high voter turnout.
Florida seniors up and down the peninsula have long helped Republicans secure this crucial swing state’s 29 electoral college votes on the path to the White House. The Villages, a massive master planned community with thousands of recreational clubs that include everything from bocce ball to investing, and entertainment 365 days a year, has long been the foundation of that fortress. In Sumter County, where The Villages is located, Republican voter registration outnumbers Democrats by more than two-to-one, according to the county’s election departments.
While Democrats in recent weeks have become more active, Republicans here will help deliver strength as since polls in other parts of the state show the president’s support falling.
“My key issues is supporting the police, supporting the military, strengthening our military, the economy, jobs for everybody, everybody prospers,” said Ron Learn, a retired Trump supporter who lives in The Villages.
As of Oct. 22 more than 45,000 of the county’s 105,605 voters had already cast their ballots, a mere two days after early voting began here.
“It’s the economy,” said 71-year-old Trump supporter Dora Mills. “I think he’s done a wonderful job and he speaks for the people and he follows, tries to follow the constitution and so I’m a big believer in that.”
While Democrats accept they won’t dominate The Villages in this election, especially as Trump is set to visit the retirement enclave on Friday, polls show that their fellow senior citizens in other parts of the state could help Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
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