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Florida goes for Trump

Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton in very close race

ORLANDO, Fla. – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been declared the winner in Florida, receiving the state’s 29 electoral college votes.

Trump defeated his Democratic rival in a very close race.  With more than 9 million votes cast in Florida, Trump edged Clinton by less than 132,000 votes.

Both candidates tenaciously fought to try to win the battleground state, which famously decided the 2000 election after George W. Bush won the state by just 537 votes over Al Gore.

Clinton and Trump and their allies spent in excess of $120 million ahead of Election Day, according to Kantar Media's political ad tracker.

Trump calls Florida his "second home" and his campaign acknowledged that a win there is vital to his White House hopes.

President Barack Obama captured the Sunshine State in both 2008 and 2012.

The two nominees -- as well as their top backers -- repeatedly made swings through the state in an order to boost turnout among their supporters.

Exit polls

Here's a look at some preliminary results of exit polling conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

Supporters, a great divide

There was a sizable gap in age and race between Trump and Clinton voters, and white and older voters helped push Trump to a razor-thin victory.

Trump led with voters age 45 and older, and almost two-thirds of white voters in Florida preferred Trump. Trump also had an advantage with men.

Clinton had a slight lead with Florida women, and voters under age 45, particularly millennials, supported Clinton. Almost 9 in 10 African-Americans in Florida favored Clinton.

There was a significant divide between Cuban voters and non-Cuban Hispanics in Florida, the state with the nation's third-largest Hispanic population. Trump led with Cuban voters, but more almost three-quarters of non-Cuban Hispanics preferred Clinton. Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric has turned off many Hispanics, but Trump appealed to Cuban voters in September by saying he would reverse the deal Democratic President Barack Obama made with Cuba to reopen diplomatic relations -- unless Cuba expands political freedoms.

Trump led with independent male voters, although the candidates split independent women. Self-described moderates favored Clinton.

Clinton led Floridians with advanced degrees, and those only with high school diplomas. Voters with only a college degree leaned toward Trump, and he did especially well with white men and women who were college-educated. The candidates were evenly divided among voters who had some college.

Trump led voters earning $100,000 or more a year, those making less than $50,000 a year favored Clinton. Trump had a slight advantage with income-earners in between.

Trump had a sizable advantage with Protestants, and a lead with Catholics, but Clinton was favored by voters from other religions and those who didn't identify with a religion.

Top concerns

Almost half of Floridians picked the economy as their top concern. Terrorism was second, with around a quarter of Florida voters picking it as the most important issue facing the nation.

Less than 1 in 10 voters picked immigration as their top issue in Florida, a state where 20 percent of residents were born outside the U.S. Floridians overwhelmingly felt illegal immigrants should be offered to a chance to apply for legal status instead of being deported.

Floridians were split on whether trade takes away jobs or creates more jobs.

Around two-thirds of Florida voters agreed that climate change is a serious problem. South Florida is among the regions of the nation most vulnerable to sea-levels rising.

A little under half of Florida voters said they were dissatisfied, but not angry, with the way federal government was working. More than a quarter of Florida voters said they were angry with the way the federal government was working, and two-thirds of those voters supported Trump. Slightly less than a quarter of voters said they were satisfied with the federal government, and Clinton led almost 4 in 5 of those voters.

Views on the candidates

Slightly more than half of Florida voters had an unfavorable view of Clinton, and almost 3 in 5 voters had an unfavorable view of Trump.

A third of voters viewed Clinton as honest, and only slight more viewed Trump as honest. More than half of voters said Clinton was qualified to be president, while less than half viewed Trump as qualified.

 

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