While Tampa is subject to disruptive hurricanes from time to time, for either party it is an attractive pick in other ways. First, Florida is the mother of all swing states with the most electoral votes (29) of any swing state. Tampa is in Hillsborough County, which gave Bush 53 percent in 2004 and Obama 53 percent in 2008, so it is a large (1.2 million people) swing county. Neighboring counties, including Hernando, Pasco, and Polk are reddish, and Romney needs to win big there to counter expected losses in South Florida. The area has also been hit hard economically, so an economic pitch is likely to resonate. All in all, the area is a big battleground. Showering attention on it is a smart move for the Republicans.
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