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Why Florida matters in the fall of 2012, and every other season in politics

Welcome to Florida, Republican conventioneers.

(And sorry about the ugly storm system that caused Monday’s events to be canceled. This, too, shall pass.)

Let’s not mince words: You are in the most important state in America.

You already know this is America’s biggest battleground and that if Mitt Romney loses our 29 electoral votes Barack Obama is almost certainly re-elected. But with Florida it’s more than that.

This is a mega state so diverse that it mirrors the nation’s moods, sentiments and demographics. Florida is America — today’s America and tomorrow’s.

“It’s become a nation-state, just as New York and California were at their peak and Ohio was a century ago,” said historian Richard Norton Smith, a venerable chronicler of American politics.

More from Adam C. Smith And Charles Mahtesian Tampa Bay Times/Politico