Election live updates: Here’s what is happening in Florida with 5 days to go

Howard Cohen
·10 min read

We’re keeping track of the latest news regarding the campaigns, early voting and other political news in South Florida and around the state. Check back for updates throughout the day.

Biden’s motorcade ties up traffic

4:15 p.m.: Now that Joe Biden has wrapped his Broward County visit and prepares to head to Tampa this evening for a rally, South Floridians are facing the traffic.

According to Total Traffic, his motorcade has opted for Florida’s Turnpike so you can expect traffic to be slow going around the Commercial Boulevard, Sunrise and 595 ramps. Opt for 441 or Interstate 95 if you can, the traffic site suggests.

Excitement, angst greet Joe Biden in Broward County

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden campaigns at a drive-in rally at Broward College North Campus in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden campaigns at a drive-in rally at Broward College North Campus in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.

4:15 p.m.: In Florida’s Democratic stronghold of Broward County from a stage erected in a parking lot at Broward College’s north campus in Coconut Creek, Joe Biden painted a picture for voters of what he thinks a Donald Trump victory will do for America — and it wasn’t pretty.

Increasing COVID deaths. No more Obamacare. Tax cuts for the wealthy while working class people bear the burden.

And in comments aimed at South Florida Latinos, Biden attacked Trump’s Cuba and Venezuela policies as ill-suited for promoting democracy and stability in Latin America.

“He knows if you vote, he can’t win,” Biden said of Trump.

Read the story here.

Biden’s ‘hype’ songs

The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin performed to a SRO audience at the Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 19, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin performed to a SRO audience at the Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 19, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.

4 p.m.: President Bill Clinton managed to reunite Fleetwood Mac so he could get them to perform “Don’t Stop” as his campaign song at his 1993 inauguration. George W. Bush went for a couple country tunes from Brooks & Dunn and Pat Green as well as Van Halen’s “Right Now” and Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”

Barack Obama had a couple Stevie Wonder tunes like “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)“ and Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising.” Donald Trump had Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” for his first campaign in 2016 and, for some reason, played the Village People’s disco anthem, “Y.M.C.A.” in his 2020 campaign.

In case you were wondering, his opponent, Obama’s VP Joe Biden, told South Florida R&B station 99 JAMZ in Miami today his “hype songs” are Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and OutKast’s “Hey Ya!”

Trump calls Biden, socialism the biggest threats to America in Tampa campaign stop

President Trump holds a rally in a parking lot at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa October 29.
President Trump holds a rally in a parking lot at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa October 29.

3:55 p.m.: In one of his final campaign stops before Election Day, President Donald Trump rallied supporters in Tampa, stoking fear and claims of a “socialist agenda” that would take over Washington if Vice President Joe Biden is elected, The Bradenton Herald reported.

“This election is a choice between the American dream and a socialist nightmare. This would be a very, very large version of Venezuela and this can happen if they get in,” Trump said, speaking to a crowd of more than 3,000 people Thursday afternoon outside Raymond James Stadium.

Read the story here.

Biden in Broward

2:55 p.m.: Biden’s get out the vote message in Broward, Florida’s bluest county, is heavy on not just what he’ll do as president but what will happen if he isn’t elected, reports Miami Herald’s political reporter David Smiley from the scene.

2:20 p.m.: Several NBA athletes, including the Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem warmed up the crowd for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign drive-in rally in Broward.

Trump on stage at Tampa stadium

3 p.m.: Trump makes late appeal to Tampa voters at Raymond James rally, The Tampa Bay Times reports.

2 p.m.: President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have taken the Raymond James Stadium stage at 2 p.m.

The first lady addressed the crowd first.

The Trump motorcade’s arriving

1:57 p.m.: He’s late, but it appears the president is about to arrive at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for his scheduled 1:30 p.m. campaign event. He’s scheduled to speak to about 3:15 p.m., reports Bradenton Herald’s Ryan Callihan.

Where do Trump, Biden stand in battleground states? What polls show 5 days out

1:30 p.m.: Democratic nominee Joe Biden is leading Republican President Donald Trump in all six battleground states with Election Day less than a week away, according to poll analysis group FiveThirtyEight. But he’s ahead by razor-thin margins in some, polling numbers show.

All six — Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — went for Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016. But this year, they are all considered key swing states that could determine the outcome of the presidential election.

Read the numbers’ breakdown here.

Say it right. Repeat after us: ‘Comma-luh’

1:20 p.m.: The Bradenton Herald’s political reporter Ryan Callihan has noticed that few speakers at President Donald Trump’s campaign event in Tampa have managed to pronounce Sen. Kamala Harris’ name correctly. He wants you to know it’s “Comma-luh.”

Joe Biden’s campaign stop in Broward

1 p.m.: Joe Biden, who served as President Barack Obama’s VP for two terms, is scheduled to appear at a drive-in rally event in Coconut Creek at 1:30 p.m. and will then head to Tampa for a campaign event at 6:30 p.m.

Incumbent President Donald Trump stayed overnight at his Doral resort before his scheduled 1:30 p.m. Tampa rally.

Florida is considered a must-win state and the race is close.

State Rep. Tina Polsky warmed up the Biden crowd before 1 p.m.

Several NBA stars also came out to support Biden, including the Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem, reports Sun-Sentinel’s political reporter Anthony Man.

Where did the presidential candidates vote?

President Donald J. Trump (right) leaves the voting area with Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartori Link. The President cast an early ballot for the 2020 presidential election at the main branch of the Palm Beach County library on Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach, Saturday October 22, 2020. When asked who he voted for, the President replied, Some guy named Trump. (JOSEPH FORZANO / THE PALM BEACH POST)
President Donald J. Trump (right) leaves the voting area with Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartori Link. The President cast an early ballot for the 2020 presidential election at the main branch of the Palm Beach County library on Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach, Saturday October 22, 2020. When asked who he voted for, the President replied, Some guy named Trump. (JOSEPH FORZANO / THE PALM BEACH POST)

1 p.m.: On Saturday, Trump cast his vote in Palm Beach County. Biden voted in Delaware on Wednesday, according to CBS4. Safe to assume they voted for themselves.

Kamala Harris to visit Miami, Broward and Palm Beach on final weekend of early voting

12:15 a.m.: Sen. Kamala Harris is coming back to Florida.

Joe Biden’s running mate will be in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties on Saturday, the second-to-last day of early voting, the Biden campaign announced Thursday. The campaign said additional details on Harris’s visit will be announced later.

The action in Tampa

Noon: Reporters in Tampa are awaiting the scheduled 1:30 p.m. arrival of President Trump at his campaign rally at Raymond James Stadium. By 11 a.m. hundreds, if not thousands, had already gathered for the outdoors event there in temperatures of 84 degrees.

And, according to Bradenton Herald politics reporter Ryan Callihan, who is tweeting from the scene, people wearing masks are “few and far between.” This, on the third consecutive day in which the state’s health department reported more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases.

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden campaign in Florida Thursday

Presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump talk to voters and argue with each other during their first debate in Cleveland. Both are campaigning in battleground Florida.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump talk to voters and argue with each other during their first debate in Cleveland. Both are campaigning in battleground Florida.

8:30 a.m.: Locked in a battle to turn out as many voters as possible in battleground Florida before Election Day, President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are spending Thursday in the Sunshine State.

Trump started his day at his namesake venue in Doral — having flown in the night before from Arizona — and will be in Tampa for a Make America Great Again Rally at Raymond James Stadium.

Biden will also be in Tampa, which for a day will exist as the center of the political universe.

But before heading to Central Florida, Biden will hold a get-out-the-vote rally in Democrat-heavy Broward County, his second “drive-in” rally there this month.

Read the story here.

How Florida could prevent a drawn-out election

8:15 a.m: Florida is famous for razor-thin voting margins, hanging chads and the Bush v. Gore dispute that still defines the modern day presidential election nightmare.

But in 2020, the swing state has the unique chance to produce a clear winner of its coveted 29 electoral votes on the night of Nov. 3 or early morning hours of Nov. 4 — potentially warding off a drawn-out contest between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden where a winner can’t be declared for days or even weeks.

How? Read the story here.

Is it too late to mail in your mail-in ballot? Here’s what to do as Election Day nears

Can I vote anywhere on Election Day? Here’s how to avoid that mistake at the polls

How do I vote and make sure it is counted in Florida’s election? Follow this guide