Couple of interesting tidbits on the upcoming Florida primary:
1. Well over 3 million people will vote in the Presidential Preference Primary. Tampa should be the largest voting market for both parties, albeit more so for the GOP. If African American and Hispanic turnout is high for Democrats, Miami could outpace Tampa.
2. For Republicans, Florida is exceptionally accurate when it comes to choosing the nominee. Every GOP nominee has won Florida since the state started holding primaries in 1956. When it comes to Democrats, the record is the opposite - most have lost Florida, most recently in 2008 when the state voted for Clinton, not the eventual nominee Barack Obama. I strongly suspect that Hillary Clinton will buck this trend, win Florida and win the nomination.
3. When it comes to Republicans, Florida has not only been 100% accurate, it has always validated the general trajectory of the race. The only time that can be argued is 2012, when Romney, Santorum and Gingrich all came into the state with a win - though Romney did go into Florida Election Day 2012 with a fairly commanding lead in the polls. Every time Florida came late or later in the calendar, the person who had won the most contests coming in to Florida went on to win Florida.
4. Florida is later in the process than you think. For Republicans, Florida is the 29th contest on the calendar (as is Ohio). Think about that, both Kasich and Rubio are looking to their home states for a breakthrough after half the contests are complete. For Democrats, Florida is the 25th contest. For the record, I stand ready to work with anyone that is up for finding a way to move us earlier in the calendar.
5. For the front runners, winning Florida probably ends it for one main reason: money. Momentum isn't talked about enough in Presidential primaries, not only for how it sets the narrative, but also for its impact on resources. By the time the campaigns get this far, they are largely running on hard dollar fumes, having raised their "easy" money long ago. For both parties, outside of some caucuses and an early April primary in Wisconsin, the next set of primaries is at the end of April, and in some expensive states. If you aren't winning by March 15 with a shot at the nomination, you aren't raising any money. And if you aren't raising money, you can't feed the beasts required to compete in multiple expensive states a full month later. Momentum = Money.
I am working on deeper dives into both party contests, which I'll release next week, but needless to say, for the Democrats, this is likely the day that ends Sanders (if it doesn't before), and for Rubio, a loss will also almost surely mean the end.
For Sanders, like in so many other states, demographics are his biggest enemy. Florida is both older and more diverse than most states, two things that bode well for Clinton.
For Rubio - who I continue to contend is the one guy my party really doesn't want to face, the enemy is history. Florida has played the role of validating state for Republicans, and right now, the most recent state polling isn't too far off the national polls, and in fact has shown a slightly higher "ceiling" for Trump. For Rubio, he either needs to make something really happen in the next two weeks, or buck 60 years of history.
But more on that to come.
And one last post script - while I believe that Rubio is a much harder opponent for my side, and while I early on joked about "supporting" Trump for the GOP, I really hope he does not win the nomination. I believe Trump is a megalomaniac who will happily rip at the fabric of who we are as a nation in an attempt to win an election. I would much rather risk losing an election to someone like Rubio, than risk handing the reins of power over to someone like Donald Trump. We don't need to "Make America Great Again" as we are already the greatest nation in the history of mankind. Period.