Will Tampa Bay deliver FL to Obama?
TAMPA — If you wonder why John McCain may be in trouble in Florida, take a look in our back yard. The state's most critical battleground is the Tampa Bay area, a swing-voter mecca where Barack Obama has relentlessly focused attention and where recent polls consistently show McCain lagging.
Local Republicans are confident about their grass roots campaign in this region, home to a quarter of the Florida electorate, but warning signs abound: ***Obama is drowning out McCain on local airwaves. According to the latest analysis by the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project, Obama aired 1,069 TV ads in the bay area from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, while McCain aired just 369. ***In Hillsborough County, which President Bush carried by 5 percentage points in 2004, Obama is leading by six points in a Politico/InsiderAdvantage poll released this week. ***In Sarasota County, the longtime GOP stronghold that Bush won by 13 points four years ago, at least three recent Republican polls showed McCain tied or slightly behind Obama.