Another toss-up for FL's 27 electoral votes
Get ready Florida for another nail biter presidential election. A new St. Petersburg /Bay News 9 poll shows America's biggest battleground state is up for grabs by either Republicans or Democrats, and that neither of the front-runners for their party nominations, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Rodham Clinton, has Florida locked up yet.
"Florida is poised to be both a bellwether and maybe even a shocker and a bit of a surprise for presidential politics in 2008," said pollster Kellyanne Conway.
Former New York Mayor Giuliani beat Clinton by 5 percentage points among the 800 registered voters surveyed Nov. 4-7, and Arizona Sen. John McCain was neck-and-neck with Clinton in head-to-head matchups. But independent voters, strongly disenchanted with the Iraq war, President Bush and the direction of the country, make Florida's 27 electoral votes ripe for Democrats to pluck. Florida Democrats overwhelmingly favor Clinton, who had 48 percent support compared to 24 percent for Barack Obama. Eight percent favored former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. Clinton's strongest area was Tampa Bay, where she had 60 percent support among Democrats but still lagged Giuliani and McCain in Tampa Bay.
Among Republican voters, former Tennessee Sen. and Law & Order star Fred Thompson is proving to be nowhere near the force many had expected when he entered the race in September. The poll showed him in fifth place with 8 percent support, behind former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, with 9 percent, McCain with 12 percent, Mitt Romney with 19 percent and Giuliani with 36 percent in the state he declares a must-win. (Read the story here.)