In officially kicking off his 2020 reelection campaign in Orlando Tuesday, President Donald Trump is essentially returning to the place where he won the national 2016 election.
No, he lost big within the city of Orlando, and lost Orange County by 136,000 votes.
But the Battle of I-4 has always been broader than its unofficial center in Orlando. The Central Florida region stretching within a county or two of Interstate 4 has been the battleground between parties for all of this century because, unlike other regions of Florida, it is evenly balanced in voter registrations between Democrats and Republicans.
The I-4 corridor is not so much a smear of purple as it is a couple of densely-blue dots of urban cores largely surrounded by seas of red.
Overall, there are nearly 5.8 million registered voters from Flagler to Manatee counties, and from Citrus to Indian River counties. And the difference between Democratic and Republican voter registration totals is less than 1 percent.
It’s the battleground, won by Trump in 2016. That led to his win in Florida, which, while not making the difference in the 2016 national election, came close.
In 2016, Trump won Florida