The outcome of Tuesday's Republican primary in the Sunshine State is too cloudy to see, the politically savvy publisher of Florida's top political Web site says.
Justin Sayfie, editor of Sayfiereview.com, says the race is extremely close.
With news that popular Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist has backed Sen. John McCain, Sayfie notes that Jeb Bush, the two-term former governor, has remained neutral, with many of his senior former aides working for the campaigns of McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani.
Sayfie thinks Crist's role in a statewide referendum could also have significant influence on the primary.
"Crist is out there campaigning for this tax relief amendment Number One [which would double Florida's homestead exemption]. He's been on billboards and TV commercials and things like that - he's out there begging people to cut their own taxes - that's probably going to drive the Republican turnout to the polls."
Sayfie told Newsmax.com that the results of Florida's Republican primary in Florida on the GOP side will have a "decisive" impact on the final outcome in the overal GOP race.
"Basically, as a result of the Florida primary, one, maybe two or even three candidates may end their campaigns if they don't win here," Sayfie said. "Florida will be the last primary for at least one and maybe two of the candidates."
The first top-tier candidate to fall?
Sayfie suspects that if Giuliani doesn't win "this will be his last primary."
"t's hard to make the case that you should be the nominee of the party if you lose the first five or six races. It's very difficult to make that argument. At least the other candidates, Romney and McCain, have two victories under their belt. For them it's a lot easier to sustain a loss in Florida."
As far as the candidate most likely to win in Florida, Sayfie says it's a "toss-up between Romney and McCain, if you believe what the last two polls that have come out in the past two days.
"It's hard to say what effect [Thursday night's] debate had. Romney's certainly spending a lot of money here in Florida - he wouldn't say in the debate ow much of his own money he's spending."
A prominent Fort Lauderdale attorney and former press secretary for Gov. Bush, Sayfie says one of the beneficiaries of the heated primary has been his Web site.
"With all of the focus on Florida, the site has increased in traffic and interest with the latest updates on Florida politics. It's been great for the Web site. We get it done early in the morning and then it's constantly updated automatically throughout the day."
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