September is Republican-palooza month in Florida.
For the next few weeks, the eight or so Republican presidential candidates will take their Barack Obama bashing-based campaigns to the nation’s most important swing state. They’ll debate Monday tonight in Tampa, and they’ll debate again later in Orlando, where they’ll also speak to a national conservative conference.
Crowning it all off: The Republican Party of Florida’s Sept. 24 straw poll — the best measurement of a candidate’s viability in a state that mirrors the nation’s political mood.
There will be one clear loser: Obama. At least in the short-term.
The Republicans will control the microphone throughout the debates, forum and straw poll. Amid all that, they’ll likely continue pounding the president on the economy at fundraisers, rallies and in interviews with stations, newspapers and bloggers throughout the state. “It’ll make a difference because Florida isn’t just any state. Whoever wins Florida or Ohio wins the White House,” said Gene Ulm, a pollster for Washington-based Public Opinion Strategies, a firm that polls for Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
“You guys aren’t just anybody. A little bit of news coverage is a lot in a state like Florida. Whoever wins, will win by a slight amount,” Ulm said. “So everything matters in Florida.”