Talk about running up the score. Florida now looms as the Democratic firewall on Election Day. Thanks to the disproportionate effect of the economic crisis on the Sunshine State, Republicans are in danger of losing the one state that could block any chances for an Electoral College victory.

I firmly believe that Florida is the most representative of the nation as a whole. Presidents are more successful if they win Florida. I am impressed and moved that Barack Obama seems to understand Florida’s significance — for winning and for governing.

There is perhaps no better indicator for the outcome of this presidential election than how Obama is pinning down John McCain in Florida. A few facts, courtesy of the Arizona Republic:

  • Six of Florida’s metropolitan areas ranked in the nation’s 20 worst for foreclosures in the second quarter. Broward and Miami-Dade counties had 10,000 foreclosures last month alone.
  • In 2004, Democrat John Kerry had 14 offices and about 100 paid staffers in Florida. This year, Obama has 60 offices and about 500 paid staffers.
  • From May to September, McCain led in 25 of the 41 polls taken in Florida, with four ties. But since October, Obama has led in 11 of the 14 Florida polls, with seven of them outside the margin of error.
  • From Oct. 6 to Sunday, McCain ran 5,702 TV ads in Florida’s largest markets, according to Nielsen Media Research. In the same period, Obama ran 18,909 TV ads.
  • As he has in most states, Obama has outraised McCain in campaign contributions in Florida. But the $3 million margin, $17 million to $14 million, is among the smallest in the swing states.
  • Florida has voted for a Democrat only once since 1980. President George W. Bush won the state by 381,000 votes four years ago.
  • For decades, Democrats have led in voter registrations in Florida. This year, they have 650,000 more registered voters than Republicans do. That margin is nearly double the margin the party had in the 2000 and 2004 elections.
  • About a quarter of all the state’s voters are in southeastern Florida, in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. Democrats, who have a nearly 600,000-voter edge there, must win big to offset the many Republican-leaning counties elsewhere.
  • Of the 1.2 million voters who have voted early so far, 640,000 of them are registered Democrats, compared with 361,000 registered Republicans. Historically, the GOP has led in early and absentee voting.

Source: CQPolitics

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