Donald Trump has won the state of Florida in the 2020 presidential election, The Associated Press projects.
The president will gain a total of 29 votes from the Electoral College after securing the Sunshine State, which was seen as key to keeping open his path to re-election.
Trump's victory appears to be a close one, with most of the votes counted, according to the AP: Former Vice President Joe Biden won at least 5.2 million votes while Trump, 74, received more than 5.6 million, with about 4 percent of the expected vote still to be counted very early Wednesday.
Of course, this isn't the first time Florida has experienced a close race. In 2016, the president won the state with a 1.2 percent advantage. (Trump won 4,617,886 votes, while his opponent former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won 4,504,975, according to The New York Times.)
The president acknowledged Florida's importance with his own vote. Before the election, he claimed the state as his place of residence and cast his own vote in West Palm Beach last week, near his Mar-a-Lago Club.
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One of the most surprising and decisive regional voter splits in Florida may be in Miami-Dade County, which showed a much narrower gap between the Democratic and Republican candidates than it did four years ago and, in the eyes of some experts, may have doomed Biden's push to flip the state.
(Initial results late Tuesday into early Wednesday showed Trump making notable gains with Cuban voters in the Miami area where they are a major voting bloc.)
This year, the region went about 53 percent for Trump to some 46 percent for Biden, 77, while by comparison the region showed 63.68 percent of votes for Clinton in 2016 and 34.07 percent for Trump.
In 2012, President Barack Obama won re-election in part thanks to his Florida victory, which saw him take a 61.58 percent of the votes in Miami-Dade County versus opponent Mitt Romney's 37.87 percent.
While Trump cast his ballot in Florida last week, his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, voted on Tuesday — and was the only person at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach not wearing a mask.
"It's Election Day, so I wanted to come here to vote today for the election," Mrs. Trump, 50, said when reporters asked why she hadn't voted with her husband.
After she cast her vote, the first lady left the building accompanied by the Palm Beach supervisor of elections, Wendy Sartory Link.
Waving and smiling, sh told reporters that she was feeling "great." The affirmation came a month after she announced that she had been diagnosed with COVID-19, as had her husband and their 14-year-old son, Barron. All three have since recovered.
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