Orlando, Fla. -
The I-4 corridor, as it is sometimes called, is once again a key battleground in the upcoming 2012 presidential elections, just like it was over the last few elections. The stretch from Tampa through Lakeland, Orlando and on to Daytona contains a large amount of independent and swing voters in a state that otherwise is largely split evenly between republic and democratic voters.
Political experts say this corridor is likely to see many more presidential candidate trips to the area, and this has proven true so far with both Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republic Nominee, and Barack Obama, the current incumbent president both having already made more trips to Central Florida than any other part of the state and more trips are on the planning schedule according to both campaigns.
With today's electoral make up, a candidate would win the presidency winning only 13 of the largest states for a total of 271 electoral votes.
HOW IT USED TO LOOK
Florida used to look solidly republican territory, but over the last decade Florida saw a huge migration of people leaving northern cities for the plentiful jobs in Florida, and a booming housing market between 2003 and 2008. For a long time, Florida had 25 electoral votes and it was a foregone conclusion they would go mostly republican, save for a few in South Florida and Central Florida.
Florida is now evenly split between republican and democratic voters, and the state now has 29 electoral votes, the largest of any of the "tossup" states. Florida has the third most electoral votes, only California and Texas have more, while New York is tied with the Sunshine state.
In order to win the state's electoral votes, candidates need to win the I-4 corridor, with the rest of the state likely to vote with their typical party.
This presidential election is excepted to be a billion dollar election, with both sides having large war chests and the super pac's flooding the airwaves with hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly from private corporate donors.
Interestingly, more Americans know about the Trayvon Martin case who was shot by George Zimmerman than do about who is running for president in 2012 according to a poll conducted by TFNJ of 1203 respondents, with 93% saying they have heard of the case or know about it, and only 69% saying they know who the candidates are that are running to be the next President of the United States.