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If Obama takes Florida, it will be an early night:
"If you want to watch Florida, just look at Hillsborough. Whatever trend you see in the state you see it right here,'' said Pam Iorio, the Democratic former Tampa mayor and elections supervisor. "I think we're more important than the whole concept of the I-4 corridor."
"If the African-American vote comes out and the Hispanic vote comes out, then Obama will win again," Iorio said. "If he can bring out that minority vote in substantial numbers then he can afford to lose some of the swing voters."
Any discussion of Hillsborough County is really a discussion of Florida as a whole because it is a near-perfect microcosm of the state, which in turn is a microcosm of America. Be it age, ethnicity, race, suburban, urban, rural, southern, northern, gay, straight, blue-collar, white-collar, military — you name it, Hillsborough has it.
A trusted Democratic operative sent us some data on the early and absentee ballot vote in Florida so far to make the point that Barack Obama is crushing Mitt Romney when it comes to banking the votes of sporadic and infrequent voters before election day. So far more than 3 million Floridians have cast a ballot by absentee, mail-in ballot or in-person early vote ballot. Democrats lead by more than 60,000 votes...
Pay attention to turn out in these counties Obama won in 2008: Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Osceola, Orange, Volusia, Flagler, Aluchua, Leon, Jefferson, Gasden, Hillsborough, and Pinellas. This is where Obama's strongest support is.