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National

With 2 Weeks To Go Before The Election, Trump Focuses On Florida

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With exactly two weeks to go before Tuesday Election Day, Donald Trump is focusing his attention on Florida. Trump is trailing in the polls there, but as NPR's Scott Detrow reports, that's not something the Republican candidate is publicly acknowledging.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Appearing before more than 10,000 supporters in Tampa, Trump said he was happy to be in Florida.

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DONALD TRUMP: Back in my second home - Florida. I love my second home. I love Florida.

DETROW: Florida really has been like a second home for Trump this week. He's campaigning here for three straight days. There's a reason for that. If Trump loses Florida, he'll have no plausible path to the presidency. And while Trump has spent most of his time on the campaign trail going after his perceived enemies, News broke Monday that offered Trump a key policy argument.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: And in case you haven't heard today's news, it's just been announced that Americans are going to experience yet another double digit spike in your premium for Obamacare, and it doesn't work.

DETROW: That increase for 2017 was announced Monday by the federal government. It's a 22-percent rise on average for people who get coverage in health care exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act. The administration says that will be offset for most people by increases in subsidies. But that topic came and went, and Trump spent far more time and energy on his grievances about what he calls a rigged system. Trump repeated his claim that Hillary Clinton should have faced charges for violating State Department security standards by using a private email server.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: She never had a chance of being convicted, even though everybody in this audience - and, boy, do we have a lot of people - everybody here knows that she's 100 percent guilty.

DETROW: Earlier in the day, Trump questioned the legitimacy of public polling, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: So I actually think we're winning. And what they do is they show these phony polls where they - you know, where they look at Democrats, and it's heavily weighted with Democrats.

DETROW: But while most polls show Trump trailing in Florida, actual voting has already begun. That's something Trump and other speakers made sure to mention at the rally.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: Go out and vote. Vote tomorrow. Vote the next day, but definitely vote.

DETROW: More than one million Floridians already have by returning mail-in ballots. And with in-person early voting now under way, millions more are likely going to follow. That means that even though there's two weeks until Election Day, Trump has even less time to turn his fortunes around. Scott Detrow, NPR News, Tampa, Fla. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.