OSSOWSKI: So goes Florida: Bellwether bias in the battleground state

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog

TAMPA — It is a standard claim that has become irrefutable mantra in Sunshine State politics.

“As goes the Tampa media market so goes Florida,”Tallahassee-based Democratic strategist Steve Schaletold the New York Times during the Republican presidential primary in January.

“As I4 corridor goes, so goes Florida,” wrote theWashington Times editorial board at the beginning of the 2008 presidential cycle.

“As goes Florida Hispanics, as goes Florida,” penned the Tampa Bay Times in March 2011.

“As goes the I4 corridor and its swing voters, as goes Florida and maybe the whole thing,” Schale told Florida Watchdog in April.

“As Pasco (County) goes, so does the state of Florida and so does the nation,”former Gov. Jeb Bush told local Republicans when he endorsed Marco Rubiofor U.S. Senate in May 2010.

“If you win in Tampa Bay, you’ll win the state of Florida,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said at POLITICO‘s “Playbook Breakfast” on Tuesday inWashington, D.C.

Easily summarized, the claim made by any self-important group states that a particular region or populace will decide the outcome of an election — foregoing all other electoral shifts in other parts of Florida.

That notion is perpetuated exponentially once “bellwether” status is donned on the Sunshine State, as the close elections in 2000 proved quite easily, and the larger-than-normal electorate of swing-state voters is taken into consideration by polling experts and quantitatively minded campaign strategists.

Read more: Watchdog.org

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