Florida Schedules Early Straw Poll, Primary

Monday, 25 Apr 2011 10:39 AM

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Florida Republicans are taking steps to make sure the Sunshine State plays a decisive role in selecting the party’s 2012 presidential candidate. That includes scheduling a fall straw poll and holding an early primary despite threats from national party officials, the Tampa Tribune reported Sunday.

The moves could make Florida the state that decides who will run against President Barack Obama for the White House next year due to its size and status as a swing state.

A straw poll in the fall could shape the primary contest by clearly picking a frontrunner or creating momentum for a lesser-known candidate.

florida, straw, poll"Florida arguably was the state that made the decision in 2008" in the GOP primary, said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, a long-time analyst of national politics. "If Florida could maintain its 2008 position, it could probably decide the 2012 nomination also."

A Republican can’t win the presidency without winning Florida, state GOP leaders say. So they want to make sure the state plays a significant role in deciding the party’s presidential candidate.

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