If recent history is any guidance, Floridians stand a decent chance of going to bed Tuesday night not knowing which presidential candidate won their state; they may even retire Wednesday and Thursday nights in the same condition.

Results haven’t been determined on election night in Florida in half of the presidential races since 2000.

Four years ago, President Obama wasn’t declared the winner until four days after Election Day, but luckily for the nation, it didn’t matter. In 2000, the winner in Florida — and for that matter, the nation — wasn’t known until more than a month later after recounts, court challenges and finally a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We should change the name from the Sunshine State to the Always-Close-Election State,” Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine joked last week during a stop along Florida’s Space Coast.

Here’s a look at why elections are often too close for comfort in Florida, and some recent changes that may help Florida shed its reputation for protracted election results.


When it comes to politics, Florida is pretty evenly divided.

About 37 percent of Florida voters are Democrats, about 35 percent are Republicans and just under one-quarter have no party affiliation.

Culturally, the state divides north and south, with Interstate 4 as the boundary. The northern part of Florida is a conservative, Southern state, while the southern half of Florida is a mix of transplants from primarily liberal-leaning Northeast states and Latinos who have made South Florida an economic and social hub of Latin America.

The number of Latino registered voters has expanded since the last presidential election, but it’s too early to conclusively say what effect that will have on this year’s race.


No recent presidential election is more infamous than 2000s, and

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