Hillary Will Win FL–Will the US Notice?

The Clintonistas are out on the talk-show rounds, arguing that her expected FL win will be a big story. Cong. Kendrick Meek (D-Miami) contended on MSNBC that Florida will be the first big and diverse state to weigh in on the Democratic contest, and therefore, its verdict carries weight.
Fair enough–IO, NH, NV, and SC are small. Michigan has voted, but only Hillary’s name was on the ballot there.
In Florida, she’ll almost certainly roll up a lopsided win. All the latest polls show her up 20 points. None of them were taken after Barack Obama’s big SC win, or after the big names in the Kennedy clan proclaimed the Illinois Senator the rightful heir to JFK’s New Frontier legacy.
But Monday’s Quinnipiac poll makes it appear the Clinton votes in FL are pretty firm. 82% of her supporters here say there’s little or no chance they’ll change their minds. Only 69% of Obama’s FL backers are similarly firmed up.
Certainly, the announcement that Clinton will hold her primary-night party at the Signature Grand in Davie is a clear sign she expects to win, and wants to focus attention on Florida, after 4-1/2 months of avoiding public appearances here like the plague.
She’s after a coast-to-coast platform to proclaim her win, to proclaim FL’s long-neglected Democratic votes now have real significance. Will pundits and headline-writers across the country be impressed?
It seems unlikely. Almost all the pre-primary coverage of Florida focusses on the incredibly tight race between John McCain and Mitt Romney. When I asked NBC’s Tim Russert about the significance of a Hillary win (we had Russert on a Sunday-morning special on the primary), he repeated the prevailing pundit wisdom on the subject– that FL’s Dems are taking part in a meaningless “beauty contest” that will give the Clinton campaign no boost, heading into the 22 primaries on caucuses on February 5th.
Indeed, the only way the Democratic result here might get major media attention is if Obama comes within 10-points of Clinton. An unexpectedly close tally might lead to a spate of “momentum” stories about the Obama campaign.
Clearly, the Clinton folks think that’s a remote prospect, so she’ll be here to claim her moment in the FL sun.

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