Candidates Focus on Florida

Candidates Focus on Florida

Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio offer the most electoral votes, with 27, 21, and 20, respectively. Solidifying a win in just two of them could turn the tide on Sen. Barack Obama’s lead or leave Sen. John McCain further in the dust.

No one has been elected president since 1960 without carrying Ohio and either Pennsylvania or Florida. As Obama and McCain head into the final few days before Election Day, their presence in these states has increased significantly. After spending several days in Pennsylvania and Ohio, both McCain and Obama  spent the entire day in Florida.

A swing state poll from Quinnipiac University found that the three states have tightened up this week and says that in Florida the election is too close to call.

Those numbers have not discouraged McCain’s campaign one bit as he sets out on his “Road to Victory” rallies. He attended several throughout Florida yesterday. The Sunshine State is important because the state packs a hefty punch with 27 electoral votes, the most for any swing state.

Accomplishing a win for McCain will be difficult since he does not have the spending power of Obama. As of Oct. 22, Obama has spent some $84 million between the three states for advertising, double to what McCain spent.

Although McCain and Obama are spending day after day on the road campaigning, the rallies they attend only reach so many people. The candidates are relying on advertising dollars to spread their message on television, radio and the internet. The ads sometimes make statements that are much bolder than the ones they make on pit stops in small towns.

Obama’s most recent ad “His Choice” calls into question McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as vice president. McCain’s ad “TV Special” mentions Obama’s 30 minute infomercial that aired last night simultaneously on NBC, CBS, Univision, BET, MSNBC, TV One and Fox before the World Series. “Behind the fancy speeches, grand promises and TV special, lies the truth: With crises at home and abroad, Barack Obama lacks the experience America needs,” says the narrator reiterating McCain’s stance that Obama is too inexperienced to be president.

The candidate’s exposure in Florida and other swing states–by ad or in person–will certainly make a difference as the election draws closer.

Marcia A. Wade is a reporter at