John Palys of Orlando is voting for Hillary Clinton. Palys says that the Pulse nightclub shootings shook him "to his core" and that gun reform is now the most important issue for him this election.
Allen Sale of Lakeland, Fla., is voting for Donald Trump in the upcoming election, though Trump was not his first choice in the primaries.
As a Cuban-American whose parents fled Fidel Castro's Cuba, Annie Ruiz of Miami she feels very strongly that Americans need to protect their freedoms and preserve the Constitution. She supports Donald Trump.
Diana Font of East Orlando is a lifelong Republican but says she can't stand Donald Trump and will be casting her ballot for Hillary Clinton in November.
Florida is one of the most racially diverse battleground states, and the political geography of the Sunshine State — pockets of blue dotted along a long central strip of red — mean its 29 electoral votes are a hard-fought prize.
Immigration is the leading issue for many Hispanic voters in Florida in 2016, after Donald Trump made building a wall on the southern border a central issue of his campaign. Economics matters a great deal to Florida voters, too, many of whom are still struggling to recover from the financial and housing crisis of eight years ago. And in the wake of the shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando in June that killed 49, national security and gun control have also emerged as major issues in Florida this year.
If Donald Trump is to win the White House, his path to victory has to include Florida. The fight to win the state is personal for Trump: it has been his second home for three decades. On a recent trip there, he told supporters, "I'm here all the time." But the state's massive Hispanic population could spike his chances: Only 26 percent of Latinos in Florida are registered as Republicans this year.
Hillary Clinton holds a solid advantage in Florida, particularly among Cuban-Americans and Puerto Ricans. Younger generations of Hispanics are likely to vote Democratic. Yet Clinton has not garnered the same coalition of support that won Barack Obama two victories in Florida. And a September poll showed her lagging behind Trump among white Florida voters. In an effort to shore up support, Bill Clinton just launched a bus tour through the Republican-leaning central and northern parts of the state.
This week, Morning Edition brought its project Divided States to Florida. We met four voters to get their take before and after Wednesday's third and final presidential debate. (Listen to the audio above to hear the voters talk about Trump's refusal to commit to accepting the election results and Clinton's response. At another Morning Edition roundtable they talk about immigration.)
They are a Cuban-American mother in Miami who backs Trump; a retail associate from Orlando who is backing Clinton; a semi-retailed insurance agent from central Florida who supports Trump; and a Puerto Rican small business owner Republican who backs Clinton.
Here are some of their thoughts before and after the final presidential debate.
Occupation: Retail associate
Despite growing up in a conservative Christian family, Palys has always voted Democrat. The shooting at the gay nightclub, Pulse, strengthened his belief in gun control and made him more determined to vote for Hillary Clinton because as a gay man from Orlando, he says it was an attack on his community. (Hear his profile.)
Before the debate:
After the debate:
Occupation: Semi-retired insurance agent
Sale is a lifelong member of the NRA; he has voted Republican for 20 years. Donald Trump was far from his choice in the Republican primary. But because he proudly says he has never once voted for a Democrat in a general election, he will cast his ballot for Trump on Nov. 8. (Hear his profile.)
After the debate:
Like many Cuban-Americans in Miami, Ruiz votes Republican. While second- and third-generation Cuban-Americans are voting increasingly Democratic, Ruiz is a firm Donald Trump supporter. (Hear her profile.)
After the debate:
Occupation: Event Planner
Font, who has always self-identified as a Republican, has decided she will cast her vote for Hillary Clinton this time. While she says she doesn't love Clinton, she does like that she is a mother and has experience in politics. She cannot back her party's candidate for president this time, but insists she hasn't switched parties for good; she remains a Republican who is taking a short break. (Hear her profile.)