This segment originally aired on VICE News Tonight on HBO on Oct. 11, 2016.
The blueprint to winning support in Florida looks markedly different for the two U.S. presidential candidates. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s ground game is more top-down, marketing-based, and expensive, while Republican Donald Trump’s campaign eschews data and relies on cheaper, traditional methods like phone banking.
In past elections, a strong ground presence buoyed by TV ads — more along the lines of the Clinton campaign — has proven successful. In the 2012 presidential election, the Obama campaign had over 100 campaign field offices in Florida while the Mitt Romney campaign had only 47. President Obama eventually won Florida after a prolonged vote count, which many political experts consider the pivot point in his re-election.
With the 2016 election being entirely unique in terms of the candidates and voter behavior, which get-out-the-vote effort is most likely to work?
VICE News traveled to Florida’s Hillsborough County to see the candidates’ ground games up-close. The county has voted overwhelmingly for the winner in every presidential election since 1960 except one.