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Primaries aren’t all gravy. Here’s who led Florida on Thanksgivings past.

It’s 110 days before Florida’s presidential primary. That’s a lot of time.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Lieberman greets well wishers as he walks through the crowd to make his speech to the Florida Democratic Party Convention delegates at the Coronado Springs Hotel in Orlando. DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DEBATE AT THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONVENTION. SEVEN OF THE NINE CANDIDATES WILL PARTICAPATE IN TWO ROUNDS OF DEBATE ON SATURDAY. [ALLEN, WILLIE J., JR. | St. Petersburg Times]

Thanksgiving Day is 110 days away from Florida’s presidential primary. The (relatively few) polls of the state have shown former Vice President Joe Biden leading a three-way race for the Democratic nomination, ahead of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But there’s a political lifetime to go.

Here’s a list of who else led their primary races on Thanksgiving Day, and who won in the end:

2016: Democratic Party

Leader on Thanksgiving: Hillary Clinton (62%)

Florida winner: Hillary Clinton (64%)

Eventual nominee: Hillary Clinton

Though former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced a tougher-than-expected challenge from Sanders, her lead in Florida was never in question. The eventual nominee’s support in Florida climbed above 50 percent in most polls starting in early November, and she didn’t look back.

2016: Republican Party

Leader on Thanksgiving: Donald Trump (32%)

Florida winner: Donald Trump (46%)

Eventual nominee: Donald Trump

It was always a crowded field in 2016′s race for Republican presidential nominee. But Donald Trump, now president, led Florida nearly as soon as he entered the race. For much of November 2015, according to RealClearPolitics, polls of the state showed about 30 percent of voters supporting Trump. On Thanksgiving Day, three other candidates still had double-digit support: Ben Carson (18 percent) and Senators Marco Rubio (17 percent) and Ted Cruz (11 percent).

2012: Republican Party

Susan Burnett, center, and Kathy Zavadil, left, walk past Presidential Candidate Herman Cain's bus in September 2011. [TYLER TJOMSLAND | Times (2011)] [TJOMSLAND, TYLER | St. Petersburg Times]

Leader on Thanksgiving: Mitt Romney (25%), Herman Cain (25%)

Florida winner: Mitt Romney (46%)

Eventual nominee: Mitt Romney

Remember Herman Cain? The tea party candidate was, in fact, dead-even with Mitt Romney after leading a few polls in early November. Cain and Romney were each polling at around 25 percent in Florida, ahead of Newt Gingrich (14 percent). Romney eventually pulled ahead after Cain was accused of sexual harassment and suspended his campaign two months before the Florida primary and threw his support behind Gingrich.

2008: Democratic Party

Leader on Thanksgiving: Hillary Clinton (47%)

Florida winner: Hillary Clinton (50%)

Eventual nominee: Barack Obama

The 2008 race was the last time a presidential candidate won the Florida primary but did not secure the nomination. Hillary Clinton led in the state from start to finish. Clinton carried a 27-point lead over Barack Obama in Florida on Thanksgiving and later won the state decisively.

2008: Republican Party

Republican Party Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani outside La Casa Dolce Cafe in Tampa in September 2017. [DIRK SHADD | Times (2017)] [SHADD, DIRK | St. Petersburg Times]

Leader on Thanksgiving: Rudy Giuliani (33%)

Florida winner: John McCain (36%)

Eventual nominee: John McCain

Rudy Giuliani, now personal attorney to President Trump, was the early frontrunner for the 2008 Republican primary. Giuliani, who was all-in on Florida, regularly polled ahead of John McCain and Mitt Romney through the end of 2007. On Thanksgiving, he led Romney by 16 points, with McCain in a distant third. But McCain surged in the polls in January and won the state primary on his way to the party’s nomination.

2004: Democratic Party

Leader on Thanksgiving: Joe Lieberman (21%)

Florida winner: John Kerry (77%)

Eventual nominee: John Kerry

At this point in 2003, the Democratic primary was wide open. Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) led the field in Florida with just 21 percent of the state, according to a Mason-Dixon poll in November. His support quickly fell, as he polled at just 15 percent early in December and dropped out in February. John Kerry went on win the state easily.

2000: Democratic Party

That kiss: Presidential nominee Al Gore kisses — no, realllllllly kisses — wife Tipper on the Democratic National Convention stage.

Leader on Thanksgiving: Al Gore (54%)

Florida winner: Al Gore (82%)

Eventual nominee: Al Gore

Al Gore, who was the vice president at the time, had an easy time in the Democratic primary. According to a St. Petersburg Times / Miami Herald poll in November 1999, Gore led Bill Bradley by 22 points in the state at the time.

2000: Republican Party

Leader on Thanksgiving: George W. Bush (59%)

Florida winner: George W. Bush (74%)

Eventual nominee: George W. Bush

Then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush jumped out to frontrunner status early and polled at 59 percent in Florida in November 1999, a 35-point lead over John McCain. In the Republican primary, Bush won 44 states and Washington, D.C.

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