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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

It still comes down to Fla



Story here. "It's going to be very, very close. We're doing everything we possibly can do to carry the state,'' said state Republican chairman Jim Greer, who remains optimistic McCain will win. "It's unfortunate but the Obama campaign has financial resources that the world has never seen before. Not having the resources to be on TV as much as (McCain) needs to be is a great disadvantage."

Through Monday, nearly 20 percent of the electorate — more than 2.3-million people — had voted with mail-in absentee ballots or at early voting locations. No one knows how those Floridians voted, but so far 115,418 more Democrats have voted than Republicans. More than 350,000 independent and minor-party voters also have cast ballots.

Republican consultant Brett Doster, a veteran of both Bush-Cheney campaigns in Florida, said Republicans went into Election Day 2000 with about 100,000 more Republican votes cast than Democratic votes and that advantage rose to 150,000 in 2004. Still, Doster said that last-minute absentee votes will likely narrow the Democratic edge in early votes and that McCain is positioned to win the state thanks to the Florida GOP's long-tested voter turnout machine.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:41pm]


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