- US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that he was relocating from his home town of New York to Florida, where he owns the luxury Mar-a-Lago estate.
- White House officials briefed that the president decided on the move to cut his tax bill.
- Trump’s advisers reportedly also see political advantage in the move, and which could help him in a state widely seen to be integral to a victory in the 2020 election.
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US President Donald Trump’s in a tweet Thursday said his decision to permanently relocate from his home town of New York City to the palm-fronted luxury of his Mar-a-Lago resort was motivated by his desire to lower his tax bill.
But, according to New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman, Trump’s top advisers — including campaign manager Brad Parscale — also see political advantages in the move.
—Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 1, 2019
“Some of Trump’s advisers see electoral benefit to him being a Florida resident ahead of 2020. His campaign manager, Parscale, started pushing for it a few months back,” she tweeted Thursday night.
Here’s what’s likely behind their calculations:
In order to stand a chance of reelection in 2020, Republican strategists believe Trump must win Florida.
Back in 2016, Trump comfortably won the electoral college through seizing victory in a swath of traditionally Democrat-leaning states.
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
But in last year’s mid-terms, Democrats won sweeping victories in four Midwestern states that went to the GOP in 2016 — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Polls in some of these states show Democratic presidential candidates with a commanding lead over Trump.
So Trump has to hold Florida – a state he won by only 1.6 percentage points — to chart a plausible route to victory.
In order to consolidate his support in Florida, the president has poured time and resources into the state.
The Trump administration has signed off millions of dollars in federal funding for restoration and disaster relief programs, Trump has sought to solidify Hispanic support with hardline rhetoric against the regimes in Cuba and Venezuela, while Parscale has launched a huge data-gathering operation to pinpoint potential Trump supporters, The Miami Herald reported in May.
The president officially kicked off his 2020 reelection bid with a rally in Orlando that month, and spends more time at private residences in the state than any other. He has spent 99 days at Mar-a-Lago since his election, in comparison to the 20 he has spent in New York.
Key advisers, including Parscale, have also relocated there.
Despite this, pundits still expect the race for victory in 2020 to be close.
Among the key Hispanic demographic in the state, Trump’s approval currently stands at about 42%, which is higher than the level of support he commands from Hispanic Americans as a whole.
With with a swing of only a few percentage points, Democrats could claim victory in the state. To this end, progressive and Democratic groups have launched extensive grassroots campaigns in the state, highlighting Trump’s divisive policies towards Latino migrants, xenophobic rhetoric, and shambolic response to last year’s Hurricane Michael.
“We’re well aware that we lacked in Hispanic outreach in 2018 and we’re looking to improve that heavily,” Steve Simeonidis, the chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, told The Hill in June. “We’re well aware of the gains we need to make, which is why we’re starting early.”
Trump’s advisers are likely calculating that by officially making himself a Florida Man, voters could be swayed by the expression of commitment to push him over the finish line.