It’s among the most competitive of battleground states, shifting back and forth between voting for Democrats and Republicans in recent elections.
And on Saturday its importance was on full display when Hillary Clinton chose Florida as the backdrop to introduce her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, to the nation.
Florida possesses 29 critical electoral votes, and recent polling shows a close battle there between Clinton and Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee.
The state, with its increasing Latino electorate, voted narrowly in support of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. In 2000, only after a recount and legal battles all the way up to the Supreme Court, did the state go to George W. Bush. Four years later, it clearly voted Republican, helping propel Bush to a second term.
With less than four months until election day, polling in the state has been mixed.
Based on an average of polls from Real Clear Politics, Clinton’s advantage in the state is less than 1 percentage point. A recent Marist College poll for NBC News and the Wall Street Journal showed her up 7 percentage points over Trump. By contrast, a Quinnipiac poll found Trump up 3 points.
For Clinton, support and turnout from the state’s growing Latino electorate is crucial.
Latinos in Florida used to be mostly Republican-leaning Cubans. But the Cuban population has become more Democratic in recent elections, and a growing Puerto Rican population has shifted the balance even further in the Democrats' direction.