By Wolf Blitzer, CNN
(CNN) - Florida is the fourth largest state in the United States. President Obama and the eventual Republican presidential nominee will be spending a great deal of time campaigning in Florida. That’s because this state goes back and forth between Democratic and Republican candidates in presidential elections. Obama carried it four years ago; George W. Bush carried it in 2000 (but just barely, as we all recall) and again in 2004.
That makes Florida very different than the three largest states in the United States: California, New York and Texas. The presidential candidates won’t be spending a lot of time in those states. They will drop by occasionally to raise some money, but they know that New York and California always go Democratic in presidential elections, and Texas always goes Republican.
That makes Florida the biggest competitive prize.
I love Florida because its demographics are just like the rest of the country. The northern part of the state is like the southern part of the United States. The southern part of the state is like the northern part of the country. The central part of Florida has tons of transplanted Midwesterners. In addition, the state has large African-American and Hispanic populations.
In watching the results come in tonight, I will be looking for hints about the November 6 election.
Turnout, for example, will be one significant indicator. If it’s large, that will bode well for the Republican nominee. Voter enthusiasm is always very important in a close presidential election.
My old friend and fellow Buffalonian, the late Tim Russert, used to say: “Florida, Florida, Florida.” He was right.
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