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The Hillary factor

DENVER -- One of the undercurrents at the first breakfast gathering of Florida delegates this morning is a sense of regret that it will not be Hillary Clinton accepting the presidential nomination on Thursday.

Most Florida delegates are totally on board with Barack Obama. But there is a small contingent of diehard Clinton supporters from the state that favored her overwhelmingly in the Jan. 29 primary.

While these folks say that will help elect Obama, the question is: Will they work as hard as they would have for Clinton?

"I think we'll be there in the end for Barack Obama," said Barbara Effman, president of the West Broward Democratic Club, one of the largest political clubs in the state. "Picking Joe Biden as his running mate helps me a lot because I think it adds stature and maturity to the ticket."

Lori Glasser, president of the Council of Democratic Club Presidents of Broward County, agreed. Obama needs a huge victory margin in the state's Democratic stronghold of Broward to offset anticipated losses in more conservative parts of the state.

"I think Biden helps people like me who worry that Obama doesn't have enough foreign experience,'' she said, adding, "We have some unification to do."

Effman and Glasser plan to cast votes for Clinton at the convention, though she is expected to release her delegates to Obama. Read more on that here.

Naturally, the Republican National Committee is eager to exploit the Hillary factor and is holding a "Happy Hour for Hillary'' this evening.

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