Florida delivered Trump the White House in 2016: Will seniors there reelect him?

Voters in The Villages, the nation’s largest retirement community, are fired up this election cycle. A vocal group still supports Trump while some Republicans say they now support Biden.
11:04 | 10/29/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Florida delivered Trump the White House in 2016: Will seniors there reelect him?
A thousand golf carts will be participating with probably 1,500 people. Reporter: 77-year-old Stan sweiss not only resembles president trump, he's one of his biggest supporters. People like to take pictures, they like to interact with the president. Reporter: Stan is also one of the founders of the villagers for trump club here at the villages retirement community outside Orlando, Florida, with 130,000 residents roving on 60,000 golf carts. It's the largest senior community in the nation. Trump is going to win! Reporter: He and club members showing off their strength in numbers at a now-iconic trump golf cart parade, recruiting even more votes from neighbors. I helped run the election for president trump, governor Desantis, and senator Scott. We carried the election according to all three of them. They all admit if it wasn't for central Florida, and especially the villages, they would have lost. Reporter: The villages, predominantly white and Republican became base of support to help propel the president to victory in Florida four years ago. 68% of the residents here voted for trump. The community has also been a source of controversy. A man who appeared to be a trump supporter shouted "White power" during a parade earlier this year. The president retweeted, then later deleted, that video. President trump won Florida in 2016, but with his approval ratings now underwater, and a razor-thin edge in the polls, this time around, his adopted home state could be up for grabs. In the last few weeks ago, every vote seemingly courted and chased by both candidates. It's great to be with you and back at the villages, I like the villages. Reporter: Stan and his club rented 18 billboards scattered across the state. Up to $5,000 a pop. Hyping what he says are president trump's accomplishments. He took us to this one near his What message do you want people who are driving by this area to take away? To look and see what it says. I think that he has done what he said he was going to do, or improved it greatly, as far as the border wall, rebuilding the Reporter: What's not advertised, president trump's handling of the pandemic. Do you think wearing a mask is important to fighting the spread of the virus? No. Carol and I do wear them when we go grocery shopping. But I see people, they walk into a restaurant with the mask on, they take it off, eat and drink, put it back on walk out. I don't see the difference. The president has said to not live in fear, to not be afraid, when it comes to the pandemic. Are you afraid of catching covid? No. We have done nothing different since March. We live the same life that we have. I play golf three times a week. You know, that's the way I'm going to live. I'm 77 years old, I'm not going to hide. I'm going to live. If god wants me to die of the virus, then I guess that's the way I'm going to die. I'm not fearful of it, and I know my wife Carol is not. We're thinking of going on a cruise in November. I'm afraid of catching the coronavirus, but I'm also afraid that if I catch it, that I may give it to others without me knowing. Reporter: 60-year-old villager Sarah Branscom is concerned about the virus. How would you rate the president's handling of the pandemic? I'm not pleased. I'm very concerned with not having the mask it's okay not to wear a mask, and you'll see it around here. I think we should have closed sooner, been informed faster, social distancing. Dr. Fauci is one of my heroes and I think we should have listened to him more. Reporter: Sarah, like Stan, is also politically active and dresses the part, too. When I come here weekly, I don't necessarily buy stuff. Sometimes I just come and walk around with my shirt, just making a statement. Reporter: Six days a week, this former teacher cheerfully volunteers her time to the democratic party. Go, Joe! Reporter: She flags traffic, calls potential voters. I hope we can count your vote for Biden for president and the other Democrats on the ballot. Hi, ladies. Reporter: Bakes snacks for other volunteers. I got you some brownies. No nuts. Why are you supporting Joe I would say he's a Mensch, somebody with integrity, somebody who is truthful. He gives me hope. I believe that he has plans for things that we need plans for. The president did well with seniors lastelection. He's struggling this time around. Why do you think that is? One is the virus. When I speak to my friends who are now the Republicans for Biden, they're not seeing what they felt they were voting for. Reporter: 67-year-old villager Steven starrich voted for trump in 2016. Who are you voting for? Vote's done, in the mail. Joe Biden. Why? One of the reasons is atone for my mistakes. I don't have a problem to admit I made a mistake, and I did. Somebody's got to bring this country back ther. His fixation is only on himself. I never heard a guy use the word "I" so much in my life. Reporter: This former U.P.S. Executive is a lifetime blican. How would you rate the president's handling of the virus? I couldn't imagine it being worse. From embracing science, having a nationwide plan, having testing, having tracing, all these things we should be able to do, and doing nothing but politicizing the thing. And then demonizing democratic governors as a result of it. He outsourced his responsibility to 50 governors and said, have at it. We ended up with 50 different plans. How did that work out? How much is your vote, a vote for the biden/harris ticket, a vote for them or a vote versus trump? Both. I believe Joe Biden in any situation is an honorable man. He's not lying to me. We know older voters are more likely to turn out. We know that they've leaned Republican. Why are they shifting now towards Joe Biden? Because so many of them are dying of covid. Folks 65 and older, having much greater chance of dying of covid than the rest of the population, and as those folks face that reality, that they're not going to see their grandkids at Thanksgiving or Christmas, they're not going to go travel on that trip they saved their whole life to go on, because of covid. We are in a situation where it is increasingly difficult for seniors to see a pathway out of Reporter: Rick Wilson is the cofounder of the Lincoln project, a group of Republican political strategists trying to unseat the president. If Biden wins Florida and the map holds as it is right now, this race is a blowout. It's going to be very, very tough for this president to hold on to power unless he takes the sunshine state. Reporter: In the last six election cycles, no candidate has won the white house without winning Florida. With 29 electoral votes, it's known for its nail-biting contests, most famously bush versus gore. How confident are you that the president is going to win Florida? I think he'll win Florida. Number one, it's the economy. He actually, if you look at what the economy was before covid, it was doing really well. Number two is, I think the president's done a good job of defending law enforcement and supporting law enforcement. Reporter: Republican Rick Scott was governor for eight years and is now the state's junior senator. I think it's probably true for every state, this late in your campaign, it's all about getting your votes out. Everybody's sort of defined by you work every day to get the vote out. Reporter: As soon as president trump recovered from covid-19, his first stop, the sunshine state. Florida's a veryhallenging state. A state full of very different microcosms. The panhandle is as different from Broward county as Alabama is from New York City. And you've got a significant percentage of Latinos, and it's not just cuban-americans, it's venezuelan-americans, colombian-americans, Puerto ricans. Reporter: Both campaigns fighting for the Latino vote, which makes up 17% of the total number of registered voters in It's not one monolithic group, it's not one bloc. There's no group think amongst Latinos, in Florida or anywhere else, for that matter. Reporter: Back at the villages, Stan action his wife Carol, and trump club members head out to a rally for president trump. And following some safety measures, they are set. Time to Goin. We're just going to follow the crowd. Reporter: As the crowds arrive, the green fills up with rows upon rows of trump golf carts. Yet in this swing state, no opportunity to reach out to potential voters goes unmissed. Finally the president arrives and takes the stage. You're always fighting for me, and I'm always fighting for you, and I appreciate it. Always has a great crowd, and everybody's enthusiastic, and there's entrance with the helicopters, so exciting. Reporter: We met back up with Stan and Carol as they exit. I don't believe he got any additional voters, because I honestly believe everybody there was going to vote for him. But he did ask that everybody go home, call your friends, your neighbors, your relatives, and get them out to vote. Reporter: As enthusiastic as some village residents are after the rally, it has others concerned. Usually I wear one mask, but today I'm wearing two. Because when president trump came here and had the big crowd that didn't wear masks or social distance, I feel like the risk is much higher for me. President trump won the villages back in 2016. Is the goal just to peel away enough support here that it could make a difference in a really tight election? Yes, exactly it. We have a lot of Republicans for Biden that joined us and a lot of independents for Biden and that's what we need, to make those numbers voting for him a lot less than they were last Reporter: Steven will make it one fewer. His decision partly rooted in the legacy he wants to leave for his grandchildren. I think about how they're going to judge this somewhere down the road when they know what happened when the history books are written. What did you do, grandpa, during the 2020 election? You said you were a lifetime Republican did you just do that because that's what you've always done, or did you do what you thought was right? It to be able to tell them I did what I thought was right. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm Rachel Scott in the villages, Florida.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"11:04","description":"Voters in The Villages, the nation’s largest retirement community, are fired up this election cycle. A vocal group still supports Trump while some Republicans say they now support Biden.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"73895908","title":"Florida delivered Trump the White House in 2016: Will seniors there reelect him?","url":"/Nightline/video/florida-delivered-trump-white-house-2016-seniors-reelect-73895908"}