The president has an edge here, but Democrats fear the advantage may be fleeting and fret about Florida’s undecided voters. They’re also nervous about legal battles over state voter laws that could cut into Obama’s support among minorities.
Republicans are concerned that Romney hasn’t closed the deal in a state hampered by joblessness and home foreclosures, even though he’s cast himself as the economic fixer and, along with his allies, has spent significant money and time here.
The state is especially critical for Romney.
With his paths limited toward the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House, Romney’s chances are far more difficult if he doesn’t claim Florida’s enormous cache of 29. That explains why he’s starting to pour even more money into television commercials here now that he has access to general election funds. Both campaigns expect Republicans to outspend Democrats on the airwaves in the final weeks of the race in a state that already has seen each side spend roughly $60 million on TV ads.
The situation in Florida — and the campaigns’ anxieties about it — reflects the overall state of the presidential race.
A new smattering of polls shows Obama ahead by several percentage points in key states including Florida, Ohio and Virginia, as well as nationally. The clock is ticking toward November, Obama clearly has momentum on his side and Romney faces dwindling opportunities to change the race’s trajectory.