Who Will Take Florida? McCain or Obama
Florida Trend asked some of the state's political experts to predict what will happen in Florida on Election Day 2008.
John McCain will likely run 1% to 2% ahead of his national percentage in Florida. I would give him a slight edge in the state based on 1) high percentage of military retirees; 2) higher percentage of older voters; and 3) cross-over vote among conservative Democrats, which gives Florida its GOP lean over the past 20 years.
Sarah Palin will help McCain more in Florida than Joe Biden will help Barack Obama. McCain has been running about 10 points below other successful statewide GOP candidates (Jeb Bush, Mel Martinez, Charlie Crist and George W. Bush) among registered Republican voters. Palin should rally the base GOP to McCain and improve his chances of carrying Florida.
The overall number of black voters casting ballots will increase. However, African-American voters only comprise 12.4% of Florida voters and historically cast between 10% and 11% of the vote in a general election. As a percentage of the total state vote, that might increase by 1% in 2008 but will certainly not be higher than 12%.