Florida, which will award 29 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency next year, is the biggest swing state in the country. Monday’s trip was the president’s third Florida visit this year.
Residents of Puerto Rico, who are getting their first official presidential visit in 50 years, can’t vote in presidential elections. But more Puerto Ricans live in the mainland U.S. than on the island – and they’re a potentially important constituency, especially in the Sunshine State, where their population has exploded in Central Florida’s Interstate 4 corridor.
The Miami Herald reports that “the whirlwind visit to an island crippled by a soaring murder rate, mass exodus, and 16.2 percent unemployment has less to do with the island’s overwhelming problems and much more to do with Florida’s I-4 corridor.”