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As the Republicans gather in Florida for their convention every state is important in this neck and neck race for the White House but winning Florida.
That is a very big prize take a look at the map you see the Democrats have the Blue States locked up on the West Coast and the northeast.
Couple in the middle of the country red states go Republicans so then you go to the gold states Florida.
He is perhaps the biggest prize 29 electoral votes available for -- up for grabs in Florida.
That's more than 10% of the 217.
Needed to win.
In this issue some of the I'm sorry in this election -- the big issues the economy obviously unemployment.
In Florida is -- In terms of the number of foreclosures one in 352.
Is in foreclosure the housing market hit very hard.
Unemployment rate in Florida is higher than the national average eight point 8%.
President Obama has made four.
Visits to Florida since.
And governor Romney has made five -- of course he is arriving there for the convention.
The national numbers and new poll of likely voters in Florida shows the president at 50% governor Romney at 46.
It is well within the margin of error.
What we'll get to that in just a second Adam Smith is the political editor for the Tampa Bay times news paper and joins us now.
Adam you wrote an article and saying you know welcoming folks to this state and reminding them how important and how diverse.
Florida is it's not just a retirement state anymore.
That's right and part of what makes Florida the biggest battleground state is that it's really America you've got people from the south you've got people from the northeast.
From the midwest you've got urban rural suburban.
We really are paid the ultimate microcosm of America.
And so as those delegates gather in in Tampa.
What is it that you think they should know about.
The state -- and what it takes to claim those 29 electoral votes.
Well -- if you could -- for Mitt Romney if he does not win Florida is playing nine electoral votes it's virtually impossible for him to win the election he would have to.
Sweet almost every other battleground so.
You know it's a broad message you've got so many different people here.
You know you get really tough on on not illegal immigration and it depending on your tone.
You can turn off Hispanic voters both Puerto Rican or Cuban American -- others and that can be devastating.
The same time he got seniors.
The care a lot about Social Security he got boomers and younger generations.
That bottom he sure they have Medicare and Social Security so you're talking to every element of the electric nationally.
And I lived there for about fifteen years and I was always struck you know living in Miami.
It's a completely different universe than it is -- on the on even the West Coast of Florida or -- -- They're all these little pockets.
-- very very very diverse.
Absolutely especially Miami Miami is almost.
Sort of the northern point of -- South America and the Caribbean these days you know Miami is sort of the capital of South America the size of the state to is absolutely enormous and there are a lot of television markets there.
It's part of the reason it's so expensive for these campaigns advertising -- Tennessee got ten different media markets to to air -- solid week -- that that's at least one point two million dollars so when you're running statewide in Florida.
Just a week of advertising can can be a month of advertising in some other battleground states.
You know Charlie Crist the former governor there the former senate candidate.
-- announce he's going to be speaking at the Democratic National Convention he's he gonna sway a lot of votes.
You know I think it's the expect Charlie is a lifelong Republican and the expectation is he he.
Jumped out of the party when he was losing the Republican primary to -- rubio the expectation is that he's gonna vote run as a Democrat eventually for governor next time.
You know why I think he's got the potential to sway some independent voters that are on the sidelines that I think crystal argue that the party's gone too extreme.
And you'll hear Republicans saying the only things change this is Charlie's personal ambitions.
All right so well again it's gives you like to write about as the Republicans bring -- showed a town Adam Smith from the Tampa Bay times.
Company got the venue named after -- newspaper there.
Thanks and we do thanks but what's the one --
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