Americans like to think Florida is an outlier: hanging off the bottom of the country, full of extremes, its own strange world with little relevance to the rest of American life. The truth is, Florida is the country’s bleeding edge, foretelling changes from the political to the social, the environmental to the economic. Understanding how the state is changing — or refusing to change — can tell us a lot about where we are all headed.
Our reporters went into the wilds of the Sunshine State to encounter all kinds of invasive species (be they harmless or, well, a real problem) and browsed the aisles of Florida’s most beloved grocery store (yes, a Pub sub was consumed). They sat down with Republican voters at their favorite Cuban spot, a Miami institution Donald Trump stopped by just weeks before. A third-generation Floridian even reckoned with her state’s iconic bogeyman. We hope you dig into all this and come away with a better sense of the land mass pulling the United States into an uncertain and terrifically muggy future.
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Editorial Lead: Meredith Haggerty | Project Manager: Lauren Katz | Editors: Paige Blankenbuehler, Sean Collins, Natalie Jennings, Lavanya Ramanathan, Izzie Ramirez, Brian Resnick | Reporters: Kristen Arnett, Marin Cogan, Rachel DuRose, Umair Irfan, Benji Jones, Whizy Kim, Nicole Narea, Emily Stewart | Style & Standards: Tanya Pai, Caity PenzeyMoog, Kim Eggleston, Elizabeth Crane, Sarah Schweppe, Anouck Dussaud | Fact-checkers: Betsy Ladyzhets, Maggie Duffy, Matt Giles | Art Director: Paige Vickers | Illustrator: Paige Vickers | Photographer: Melody Timothee | Designer: Andrew Walters | Video: Adam Freelander, Bridgett Henwood, Melissa Hirsch, Stephanie Swart, Matt Dunne, Mona Lalwani, Joey Sendaydiego | Audio: Haleema Shah, Matt Collette, Noel King | Audience: Gabby Fernandez | Editorial Director: Julia Rubin | Managing Editors: Natalie Jennings, Nisha Chittal | Special Thanks: Agnes Mazur, Shira Tarlo, Jayne A. Quan, Aja Romano, Blair Hickman, Liz Kelly Nelson