Firehouse Vice President Jennifer Krantz Outlines The Electoral Importance of Florida’s I-4 Corridor in RealClearPolitics
October 19, 2020
As Floridians like me know, during every presidential election cycle there comes a time when the focus turns to the I-4 corridor, a stretch of land that encompasses the major metropolitan areas of Tampa and Orlando and the swath of mostly rural land in between. That’s why it was not surprising to see Vice President Mike Pence campaigning in the region this past weekend. The I-4 corridor is the critical swing area in the largest swing state that has correctly chosen the candidate who ultimately wins the White House in nearly every election since 1936.
As a third-generation Tampa native whose family is apolitical, growing up I didn’t realize that I was living in such a politically significant area (you would think all the political TV ads and yard signs would have clued me in). But after graduating from the University of South Florida and getting involved in political campaigns, it became increasingly obvious as campaigns funneled large amounts of resources into the region and candidates visited numerous times. I even attended Mitt Romney’s Florida campaign headquarters opening in Tampa in early September 2011. Romney understood then what the Trump campaign does now: how vital it is to win, or at least come close, in the I-4 corridor.
On the surface, there is a simple reason this area is so important. As the Tampa Bay Times points out, the I-4 corridor accounts for 43% of Florida’s voters. The sheer volume of voters in this area can make or break anyone’s political ambitions in the state. Given that South Florida is a Democratic stronghold, and North Florida votes solidly Republican, the I-4 corridor can swing the election in either party’s direction, making it the most critical area in the country.
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