Well, hot damn! It's primary day in Florida

click to enlarge Well, hot damn! It's primary day in Florida - flickr user whiteafrican
flickr user whiteafrican
Well, hot damn! It's primary day in Florida

Those yard signs have been in your neighbors' yards for months, and today's the day they work their magic.

Florida, along with several other states, is voting in its presidential preference primary. Numerous communities also have municipal elections, such as Treasure Island, Gulfport, Largo and other smaller cities and towns.

Perhaps you knew that already, though, and you're one of the hundreds of thousands of Tampa Bay area residents who have already cast a vote (over two million Floridians already have).

Polls close at seven tonight and you can find your polling place on your county's Supervisor of Elections website.

Political observers see the outcome of the Sunshine State's presidential primary as critical in determining who will ultimately be the nominee. The state awards all of its delegates to the winner (99 to the prevailing Democrat Republican, 240 to the Republican Democrat who wins the most votes).

While those delegates won't determine who will ultimately be the nominee, the outcome matters greatly in terms of how the candidates rank with voters.

The GOP primary, for example, is essentially a wash for anyone but Trump (if you believe the results of every poll — and not everyone says you should). Perhaps more interesting is the percentage by which he beats Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz as well as Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

After all, it's Rubio's home state and pretty much very one says his campaign is floundering. If he can't beat (or at least almost beat) Trump, again, in his home state, most people say he ought to drop out and let the party establishment coalesce behind Cruz or Kasich; probably Kasich.

On the Democrat side, Sen. Bernie Sanders' starry-eyed supporters are hoping to pull off a Michigan-style upset against frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sanders supporters say they'll be partying down (or crying into their beers) Tuesday night at Edge of 9 in St. Petersburg.

Clinton supporters, meanwhile, are gathering in Clearwater at Island Way Grill and in Tampa at District Tavern, where Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will headline later in the evening.

The Tampa Bay Young Republicans are also hosting a gathering at Mojito's on Kennedy in Tampa to watch the election results as they come in.

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