Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Primary Day

It’s primary day here in Florida. I get off an hour early to get to the polls. And with 2000 still echoing, Florida is going to be a very important state in the election. No Republican since Calvin Coolidge has won election without winning Florida, and it doesn’t look good for Bush this time around.

Voters in Florida go to the polls Tuesday for the state’s Democratic presidential primary. But with the outcome of that race a foregone conclusion, and with the Bush-Cheney campaign flooding Florida’s airwaves with controversial new TV commercials, all eyes are on November. And for the moment, at least, Democrats are feeling cautiously optimistic about their presidential prospects in a state they believe they won four years ago.

There may be good reason for that. While Bush began the 2000 race with a double-digit lead over Vice President Al Gore in Florida, a poll released over the weekend has the president trailing Kerry in the state by six percentage points. A majority of Florida voters disapprove of the way Bush is handling the economy; a plurality believes he exaggerated intelligence to build support for the invasion of Iraq; and, by a wide margin, voters in this senior-heavy state trust Kerry more than Bush when it comes to protecting Medicare and Social Security.

Many of those who supported Bush in 2000 seem ambivalent and unenthusiastic about him today, while Floridians who voted against Bush four years ago — particularly African-Americans and older voters in Palm Beach County who believe they were disenfranchised — are enraged and inspired to oust him from office now. [Salon.com]

I’ll have a posting on my trip to the polls later tonight.