In Florida, professor predicts “hate election”

If it comes down to a Trump vs. Clinton matchup, how will Florida vote?

As usual, it’s a tossup.

Even though Donald Trump is alienating Florida’s growing Hispanic population, and Hillary Clinton has high unfavorables of her own, the state is poised to swing once again in November, with voters mobilized to cast a ballot against a candidate rather than for one.

“A lot of anger, even hate, will motivate this election,” said Michael McDonald, associate professor of political science at the University of Florida.

“Republicans are largely dissatisfied with their candidates. None get typically over 50 percent. And on the GOP side, the #NeverTrump movement is trying to prevent Trump from getting the nomination. Within the Republican Party, Trump is a very polarizing figure, and we have indications that in a general election the Democrats will be energized to vote against Trump,” McDonald told WJCT.

“However, with Hillary Clinton, who at this point looks to be solidly in the lead on the Democratic side for the nomination, Republicans have been primed for years to feel antagonistic towards the Clintons. So many Republicans will also be motivated, even the #NeverTrump ones, to find him more palatable than a Hillary Clinton presidency.”

McDonald says despite the intense, negative emotions this cycle, at least voter participation should be robust.

“We could see very high turnout in Florida, as people see very stark differences between the candidates and people go to the polls to make a choice that’s meaningful to them.”

And McDonald says in Florida, what will tell the tale is which voting bloc is most motivated to cast a “hate” vote: energized Latinos in the I-4 corridor, for example, who don’t want Trump, or disaffected white voters who haven’t typically been politically engaged.