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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Why Trump's Tampa Bay rally is perfectly timed

9

February

Donald Trump's rally planned for Friday evening at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa could not be better planned. Consider that as New Hampshire residents heard to the polls today, elections supervisors in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties are sending out more than 300,000 mail ballots for Florida's March 15 primary.

"Voters will have their ballots in the hot little hands by tomorrow or Thursday and then Donald Trump is going to get a ton of earned media Friday," noted Tony DiMatteo, a Republican consuiltantand Trump supporter in Pinellas County, whose elections office today sends out more than 200,000 ballots.

Unlike New Hampshire, where voters unaffiliated with either major party can choose on election day whether they want to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary, Florida has closed primaries. Anyone not registered with a major party who wants to participate in the March 15 primary but register by Feb. 16.

The results in New Hampshire tonight and South Carolina Feb. 20 are likely to scramble things, but as of today the RealClearPolitics.com average of recent Florida polls shows Trump way ahead with 40 percent support, followed by Ted Cruz with 19 percent, Marco Rubio with 14,Jeb  Bush with 9, Ben Carson with 5, Chris Christie with 3, and John Kasich and Carly Fiorina with 2 percent each.

 

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 11:11am]

    

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