Florida Matters: The Politically Crucial I-4 Corridor

Florida Matters: The Politically Crucial I-4 Corridor
Florida Matters: The Politically Crucial I-4 Corridor

The I-4 corridor is considered vital to the presidential election -- the swing region in the swing state. Teaming up with NPR member station WMFE in Orlando, we're taking a trip down I-4, with a look at each county and its politics.

We're starting our road trip in Volusia county on the eastern end of I-4, where, as Catherine Welch reports, Donald Trump has made inroads in what was once a solidly democratic county.

 Suburban mothers constitute a swing voter group the presidential candidates are watching closely. These women are neither urban --  who tend to vote Democrat -- nor rural, who tend to vote Republican.  Amy Green spoke with some Seminole County mothers, and found they're often swayed by "children's issues". Orange County is a democratic strong hold – but it wasn’t always that way. As the county got younger and younger, the area became more blue. Brendan Byrne looks into what’s driving Orange County’s youngest voters to the polls. The road to the White House  passes right through Osceola County on the I-4 corridor. A growing Puerto Rican community is changing the face of this county, and Renata Sago takes us there. Right in the middle of the I-4 corridor sits Polk County -- rural and conservative and largely Republican. But, as Robin Sussingham reports, changing demographics could mean a close election there for President. Next, Steve Newborn takes us to the most heavily populated county along I-4, Hillsborough. One political scientist says Hillsborough's makeup mirrors the state's, so it just might be the most accurate indicator of how Florida will vote. In Pinellas County, the number of  Democrats and  Republicans is nearly perfectly even.  Mary Shedden visited a sunset party on Pass-A-Grille beach, and finds it will be difficult to predict the election outcome for this county.

Original Broadcast Date: 
11/01/16

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Host:
Carson Cooper

Carson Cooper is a familiar voice. He has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the local host of NPR's "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for more than two decades. He has been the host of WUSF 89.7's Florida Matters since its launch in 2006. During that time he has reported on a variety of issues of importance to the community, including growth management, education, transportation, affordable housing, taxation, public health and the environment.

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Host:
Robin Sussingham

Robin Trohn Sussingham is a reporter and program host at WUSF Public Broadcasting, and is the producer of Florida Matters. She came to WUSF from public radio stations KUER and KCPW in Utah, has contributed stories to NPR and Marketplace, and also has an extensive background in print reporting. She was born in Lakeland and often reports about Polk County.

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