Florida really represents five different states in one, and that just adds difficulty to the efforts of Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in Tuesday’s primary, Politico
The news service divides the state into:
• The Panhandle, much of which resembles the Deep South, and rural towns that are just beginning to attract significant businesses.
• North Florida, centered in Jacksonville, with a substantial African-American population.
• The center of the state, traversed by the Interstate 4 corridor, which represents an important swing area that “in attitude and lifestyle is like St. Louis with palm trees,” Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown told Politico.
• The southwest portion of the state, which sits on the Gulf Coast, and includes wealthy Midwest retirees.
• Southeast Florida, which comprises many people who have moved down from the Northeast and Hispanics.
That gives Romney and Gingrich an electorate similar to the nation as a whole that they must swing to their side. “It’s as good a microcosm of the country as you’re gonna find outside of Ohio,” Brown side. “On a composite basis, it’s a pretty good indicator of the country. ... It is an amazingly diverse state.”
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