Early, yes, but looking good for Obama in Florida

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Lord I fear jinxing it but here is what Nate Silver of the FiveThirtyEight blog just reported.

In every presidential election since 1960, the candidate who prevailed in Florida’s Hillsborough County, home to Tampa, has also prevailed in Florida. There is no guarantee that the pattern will hold in 2012, but the Tampa region is critical in carrying the Sunshine State (which is why the Republican Party held their national convention there this year).

More than 80 percent of the vote has been reported in Hillsborough, and President Obama leads Mitt Romney by five percentage points. Mr. Obama, as we have written, is likely getting a push from Florida’s fast-growing Hispanic community. In Hillsborough, Hispanic residents have grown by 71 percent since 2000, now accounting for a quarter of the county’s population.

Mr. Obama is also leading in another Florida bellwether, Pinellas County, Hillsborough County’s western neighbor. In Pinellas, 99 percent of the vote has been reported, and Mr. Obama is edging out Mr. Romney 52 percent to 47 percent.


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