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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Smith"s Tough Math



Rod Smith is the only Democrat airing TV ads promoting his campaign for governor. Many Republicans fear his candidacy, and polls generally show his primary race wide open with a huge number of undecided voters. But the biggest obstacle to Smith winning the gubernatorial nomination boils down to two words: Tampa Bay.

The electoral math is simple. If each candidate wins 60 percent of the vote in their home turf, and they tie everywhere else, Davis wins the election by some 52,000 votes. That assumes turnout of about 34 percent, comparable to the last Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2002, but turnout may well be lighter given the low profile of the candidates. Smith, a former prosecutor with a homespun style, touts his strength in North Florida. So give him 55 percent of the North Florida primary vote 60 percent around Gainesville and assume he and Davis tie everywhere else but their home bases. Davis still wins by some 25,000 votes.

There are numerous scenarios, but they all point to Smith needing to make up lots of ground elsewhere in the state to get past the Davis leg- up in the Tampa Bay area. With less than three weeks before early voting starts, and five weeks before primary day, Smith has a lot of work to do. Full story is here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:10pm]


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