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GOP flooding Florida voters with political robocalls, vastly outpacing Democrats

'This is a flood the zone strategy,' political expert says
Posted at 1:42 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 18:06:08-04

Floridians are getting a ton of political robocalls this year, according to the spam blockers at YouMail, and their data shows Florida Republicans are taking the brunt of it.

Trump calls in Florida are reaching between a half to full million voters weekly. That has the GOP outpacing Democrats by as much as 20 to 1, YouMail said.

But, regardless of party affiliation, the calls seem to be reaching everyone. That includes first-time voters like Kelly Wilson.

"It's directed toward a specific candidate," said the Florida State college student. "Or, it's like something really absurd about the other candidate."

The public can listen to some of the calls YouMail has collected by clicking here.

Campaigns use them not to change minds but to remind their voters to vote, according to Associate Professor Josh Scacco, who teaches at the University of South Florida. Scacco, a political communications expert, said the effort is typically cheap and can be effective in a tight race.

"This is a flood the zone strategy," Scacco said. "This is trying to reach, particularly the base of voters who a party needs to come out and support a candidate and making sure they don’t forget where to vote and when to vote."

The professor says Republicans are likely outpacing Democrats because the GOP base is often older with listed landlines.

Younger generations, like Wilson, are more likely to get bombarded with text messages. They often lack a household phone, preferring a cellular device.

The FCC says many of these political robocalls are legal. The best way to avoid them is to check with your phone provider to see if they offer a spam blocking service.

If you have a cellphone, look for apps online that automatically block numbers associated with spam calls.

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