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Politics / Issues

Campaigns Come to Florida Amid Super Tuesday

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Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio ended their  "Super Tuesday" campaigning by holding rallies in South Florida.

With hundreds of presidential delegates on the line, Super Tuesday's multi-state day of voting is one that can divide weak candidates from those who will go the distance to the party convention, said University of South Florida professor of political science, Susan MacManus. She said strong performances during Super Tuesday can earn a candidate a second chance.

"The bottom line is that tonight, you're going to see no candidate really have a majority of delegates need to dominate at the national convention," MacManus said. "There's a lot of hype put on this evening's primaries because there is such a  slew of states and in different parts of the country. But at the end of the evening, there will still be a lot of delegates that have to be gotten between now and the convention."

For Floridians who are uncertain leading up to the March 15 Primary, events like Super Tuesday could be the deciding factor each candidate needs, she said.

"But time is running short. As you know, in so many counties in Florida people are already voting and they have already cast ballots," MacManus said.

The voters in communities near Interstate 4 (I-4), from Hillsborough County on the west coast of Florida to Volusia County on the east coast, make up the bulk of Florida's voting body, she said.

"The I-4 Corridor is really the battleground of Florida," MacManus said. "Forty-four percent of Florida's registered voters live in the Tampa and Orlando media markets. The area is also the most divided in terms of party registration and it's also in an area where you have a lot of diversity."

Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and Republican candidates Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have all established campaign headquarters in the Tampa Bay area. 

"The big news in terms of location is the fact that three candidates are actually holding their evening commentaries in Miami," MacManus said. "They've already skipped forward two weeks to the big Florida primary. Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump are all having their events in South Florida this evening and that's a signal to the rest of the country that, Florida's [the] next big state on the horizon."