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Florida was admitted to the union in 1845, and has taken part in 43 U.S. presidential elections since this time. In these 43 elections, Florida has voted for the overall winner thirty times, giving a success rate of seventy percent. Since 1928, Florida has voted for the winning candidate in 21 out of 24 elections, and is considered a key battleground state in modern elections. Florida has voted for a major party nominee in every election, backing the Republican nominee 17 times, Democrat 25 times, and the only time it did not vote Republican or Democrat was in 1848 when it voted for the Whig Party's Zachary Taylor. Florida did not take part in the 1864 election due to its secession from the Union in the American Civil War, and like most other southern states it primarily voted Democrat until the mid-twentieth century, when it then started leaning more Republican. No U.S. President has ever been born in Florida, or resided there when taking office; although Donald Trump declared himself a resident of Florida in 2019, therefore making it his official home state during the 2020 election. The 2020 election in Florida proved to be a surprise for many, as Donald Trump won the popular vote by a 3.4 percent margin; most polls had favored Biden going into election day, however intensive campaigning and increased Republican support among Cuban Americans has been cited as the reason for Trump's victory in Florida.
In 1920, Florida's population was fewer than one million people; however it has grown drastically in the past century to almost 22 million people, making Florida the third most populous state in the country. With this population boom, Florida's allocation of electoral votes has surged, from just six in the 1920s, to 29 in recent elections (this is expected to increase to 31 votes in the 2024 election). Unlike the other most populous states, such as California and New York, which are considered safe Democratic states, or Texas, which is considered a safe Republican state, presidential elections in Florida are much more unpredictable. Florida is a southern state, and its majority-white, rural and suburban districts tend to vote in favor of the Republican Party (Republicans have also dominated state elections in recent decades), although, Florida is also home to substantial Hispanic population, and is a popular destination for young workers in the tourism sector and retirees from across the U.S., with these groups considered more likely to vote Democrat. However, the discrepancy between voters of Cuban (58 percent voted Republican) and Puerto Rican (66 percent voted Democrat) origin in the 2020 election shows that these traditional attitudes towards Hispanic voters may need to be re-evaluated.
2000 controversy The 2000 U.S. presidential election is one of the most famous and controversial elections in U.S. history, due to the results from Florida. The election was contested by the Republican Party's George W. Bush and the Democratic Party's Al Gore; by the end of election day, it became clear that Florida's 25 electoral votes would decide the outcome, as neither candidate had surpassed the 270 vote margin needed to win nationwide. While Florida's early results showed Bush in the lead, Gore's share of the results in urban areas then brought their totals close enough to trigger a recount; after a month of recounts and legal proceedings, Bush was eventually declared the winner of Florida by a margin of 537 popular votes (or 0.009 percent). Although Gore did win a plurality of the votes nationwide, Bush had won 271 electoral votes overall, and was named the 43rd President of the United States; this was just one of five elections where the candidate with the most popular votes did not win the election. In the six most recent U.S. presidential elections in Florida, the difference in the share of popular votes between the Republican and Democratic candidates has been just two percent on average.