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The US election is a week away, with the ballot tipped to be one of the most contentious in recent history. Currently, the Democrats’ Joe Biden has surged ahead of President Donald Trump in the polls. The incumbent is now making last-ditch attempts in key states to win over the American people and secure a second term in office.
Mr Trump hit headlines this week not for his election campaign but for his fast-tracking the conservative intellectual, Amy Coney Barrett, into the Supreme Court.
The move has stirred much controversy, not least because it now gives the Republicans a significant majority in the Court, with six having been nominated by a Republican President, three by a Democrat.
Pollsters say that, despite Mr Biden’s lead, swing states like Texas and Florida could tip the election result either way.
Florida has a reputation in recent years of offering favour to the Republicans.
In 2016, despite losing the nationwide popular vote, the results from Florida were the first sign that Democrat Hilary Clinton was in trouble.
In two of the last three Democratic defeats, winning Florida would have meant taking the White House.
Florida also played into the hands of the Republicans in the 2000 ballot, in what has become known as the Al Gore vs George W Bush debacle.
It was here that the vote was so close that several recounts took place.
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The vote at times came as close as Mr W Bush leading Mr Gore by a marginal 300 votes – far fewer of the clear majority needed.
Such were the margins that it was decided the result had to be heard and given by the Supreme Court.
It was here that, with a majority of seven Republican President nominated justices to two Democrat nominated justices, Mr W Bush was voted in as President, five votes to four.
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Chief Justice William H Rehnquist – nominated by Republican President Ronald Reagan – and four of his conservative colleagues, Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M Kennedy, all also nominated by Mr Reagan, and Clarence Thomas, nominated by Mr W Bush’s father, President George H W Bush, granted the vote for Mr W Bush to become President.
The dissenters were the court’s four most liberal members: Justices John Paul Stevens, David H Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G Breyer.
The Supreme Court’s political makeup 20 years ago is nearly akin to its structure today.
Ms Coney Barrett was pushed into the Court after the Democratic nominee Ms Ginsburg died and a vacancy on the panel arose.
Each nomination is a lifetime role.
According to the BBC, Mr Trump once said he was “saving” Ms Coney Barrett for such a moment.
Florida state is worth 29 Electoral College votes.
Mr Trump has lavished his attention on Florida in the run-up to the election.
He regularly visits his Mar-a-Lago and Doral properties, and has even moved his New York office to the state’s warmer clime.
The President also often refers to Florida as his “home state”.
Latino voters, who have a growing demographic presence in swing states like Florida and Arizona, appear to favour Mr Biden over Mr Trump.
Yet, some polls suggest the Democratic nominee is less popular than Barack Obama was in 2012 and Mrs Clinton in 2016.
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