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No Break in the Action: Eyes on FL for 2016

PHOTO: There will be little rest for the weary in Florida politics, with candidates gearing up for the 2016 Presidential election. Photo courtesy of Center for American Progress
PHOTO: There will be little rest for the weary in Florida politics, with candidates gearing up for the 2016 Presidential election. Photo courtesy of Center for American Progress
November 5, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Floridians are waking up today to discover the outcome of their state and local races. While there may also seem to be a reprieve from the barrage of campaign ads, candidates and their staffs are hard at work preparing for the 2016 presidential election.

With Senator Marco Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush both tossed out as possible names for the Republican primary - Jill Hanauer, president and CEO with Project New America, predicts there will be no rest for the weary.

"We're going to see candidates from Marco Rubio to Jeb Bush, both Floridians, all over the country now, particularly Republican candidates posturing themselves and I believe really trying to appeal to base conservative Republican primary voters," says Hanauer.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, approximately 150,000 campaign television ads were aired in Florida, which cost more than $81 million, more than any other state-level races.

When it came to early voting in Florida, women turned out in significantly higher numbers in the 2014 midterm, compared to numbers in 2010 - increasing by 500,000 according to the Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment (F.I.R.E.). Stephanie Porta, spokesperson with F.I.R.E., explains what might be a factor in their turnout.

"Many women in Florida are juggling having to go to work, manage childcare and other important obligations on Election Day," she says. "Early voting really gives women an option to bypass the potentially long lines on Election Day, to cast a vote."

Though television ads were used in high numbers in this election, Hanauer believes this year could be the turning point as campaigns realize they're not reaching the key youth vote.

"The voters of the new America and the changing demographics, they're watching it on Hulu, so they're not seeing the negative ads, but the conservative, Republican base is seeing it more," she says.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - FL