Florida voters say it's unsafe to hold GOP convention there as plans fall apart
With just a month to go before the big event, voters in Florida are signaling they don't want Trump and the GOP descending upon their state.
A new poll released Thursday found nearly two-thirds of voters in Florida think it's unsafe for Donald Trump to hold the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida — delivering yet more bad news for the beleaguered event.
The Quinnipiac University poll found 62% of voters in the Sunshine State think it's unsafe to hold the convention in Jacksonville, including 26% of Republicans.
Already, Duval County Sheriff Mike Williams — a Republican — said he cannot guarantee he'll be able to provide security for the convention.
"It's not my event to plan, but I can just tell you that what has been proposed in my opinion is not achievable right now ... from a law enforcement standpoint, from a security standpoint," Williams said Monday.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak in Florida is spiraling out of control, with both cases and deaths from the virus on the rise.
The virus has left the Republican National Committee's plans for the convention up in the air, a month before the event is slated to begin on Aug. 24.
Virus mitigation ordinances in Florida would currently prohibit Trump from filling an indoor arena to any more than 50% capacity.
And the city of Jacksonville issued a mask-wearing order, which Trump wanted to avoid when he initially moved the convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville back in June.
There is talk that the convention may be held at an outdoor arena. But Jacksonville is hot, humid, and rainy in August, which could cause problems for a major outdoor event.
Currently trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the pools, Trump cannot afford to hold a quagmire of an event, as he seeks to regain momentum in the race.
Even more, he cannot afford to anger Florida voters, whom he needs if wants to win the state — and consequently reelection — in November. Trump carried Florida in 2016 by a 1-point margin.
The Quinnipiac University poll found Biden leading Trump in Florida by a whopping 13 points, 51% to 38%.
That marks a major swing toward Biden since April, when Quinnipiac found Biden leading Trump 46% to 42%.
"The president doesn't escape the shifting moods and concerns of voters in Florida. His sagging numbers are a gut punch from one of the key states he keenly hopes to win," Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a news release.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. Attribution to Emily Singer.