TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The 2020 election season is underway and mixed results in the first two states could give Florida voters more say in who gets the Democratic nomination.
President Donald Trump is running for re-election and will almost certainly lock up the nomination, so the only close contest is on the Democratic side.
The field of more than two dozen has whittled itself down to eight, and the early state results are pushing the date when we’ll know the nominee further down the calendar.
That could give more weight to Florida’s voters.
Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar performed well in New Hampshire, giving their campaigns a boost in media – and possibly fundraising – as candidates head to Nevada for another round of caucuses.
But they’ll have to contend with the leading moderate, former vice president Joe Biden, as well as Mike Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City.
Biden has strong support among people of color – a necessity for a Democrat seeking the nomination.
“You can’t be the Democratic nominee and you can’t win a general election as a Democrat unless you have overwhelming support from black and brown voters,” Biden said in South Carolina this week.
Bloomberg has money – lots of it. Depending on the list, he’s one of the Top 10 or 20 richest people in the world and has already poured at least $300 million into television ads in later-primary states.
His strategy is to skip the first few states and make his mark on Super Tuesday when 14 states, including California and Texas, have their primaries.
Another 10 states will decide in the two weeks that follow, including Florida on Tuesday, March 17.
The longer that candidates like Buttigieg and Klobuchar keep winning over voters, the more they’re taking votes away from Biden. That leaves an opening for Bloomberg.
It also makes it more likely that the nomination will take longer to be decided, giving Florida’s votes more impact.
The deadline to register as a Democrat to be able to vote in Florida’s primary is Tuesday, February 18.
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