In a matter of ten days one specific area of our country has seen more presidential campaigning than any other. In the past few days and over the next few, we’re seeing both presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, both vice-presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, both Clinton’s Hillary and Bill, surrogates Cindy McCain, Joe Lieberman, Rudy Guiliani, various other politicians and celebrities all have campaigning for their candidate of choice in the area of Central Florida. Florida is one of the more important swing states in this years election and central Florida is the most important battleground area of the battleground state.
The term “War on I-4” is usually held off for the arena football game that’s played between the Orlando and Tampa teams, but as for the past few weeks it’s been taking on a whole new meeting. Both presidential campaigns are running massive ground operations in that area. As for the rest of the state it’s almost all but decided. Obama is leading in the more highly populated areas of southeast Florida with areas of Miami and Fort Lauderdale because of a high population of Jewish, black and Hispanic voters. McCain is up big in the more rural areas of northern Florida and and the southwestern part of the state with retirees, affluent voters and old-school Southern Democrats. But the area along Interstate 4 is so populated and diverse that it could be that area to decide the state.
But it’s the state’s decision that has captured the country and helped decided the last two elections. We all remember what happened in 2000 with the election between Gore and Bush. If 537 Floridians voted a different way, there would have been a different result. But the way it looks, it’ll go down to the last day until we’ll finally know which way Florida will go.
Some statistics that we look at for help can be misleading. Registered democrats outnumber registered republicans by hundreds of thousands. But like much of the rest of the south, you still see many conservative leaning Southern Democrats. The could be part of the reason why Florida has voted republican for six of the last seven elections, but this time around we see Obama is running slightly ahead in statewide polls with likely voters. More statistics show 5.7 percent of the U.S. population lives in Florida. One of every four voters in Florida are 35 years or younger. Florida’s population is about 20 percent Hispanic and 16 percent black. And 2.2 million voters in Florida do not belong to a party. Just looking at those stats you can see how important of a battleground state Florida is and why it could go either way.
Not for nothin’, but It’s a state that John McCain must win in order to just stay competitive. If Obama were to carry Florida then there’s no way McCain will be able to catch up. In fact Obama already has a victory in the sense that he’s making the McCain campaign put so much time, focus and money in a state that’s traditionally red.