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Florida voters are in a bad mood

What's on voters' minds? The Miami Herald visited five counties in different parts of the state -- Broward, Charlotte, Osceola, Flagler and Jackson -- to find out. What reporters heard: Voters have had it up to here with the public schools, insurance bills and housing costs. Many are also upset about a war 7,000 miles away in Iraq.

Whether they blame the reigning Republicans in Tallahassee and Washington for their troubles largely depends on their party affiliation. Increasingly, new voters are choosing neither major party.

The voting pool is also increasingly diverse. The percentage of voters identifying themselves as ''other'' than white or black is up 62 percent over 2002. That's partly because of a boost in the Hispanic population; more voters are also switching from the ''unknown'' to the ''other'' category. The number of black voters jumped almost 25 percent since 2002, while white voters increased by 8 percent.

To read profiles of the five counties visited by the Herald, click here.

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