All Eyes on Florida: Breaking down how voters lean in the Sunshine State

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MIAMI, Fl. (Gray DC) -- Republicans are preparing to take the stage at the University of Miami where all eyes are on Marco Rubio ahead of next week’s Florida Primary. The candidates are working to court important Florida voters.

The state is a microcosm of the United States. It’s ethnically diverse and there’s a mix of young and old voters here.

Sunny Florida is a state where politics plays big.

“How Florida goes tells us how the rest of the country is going to go,” University of Miami Professor Joseph Uscinski told us.

Uscinski explains the voter demographics in the state. Older Cuban Americans in South Florida tend to vote conservative, and younger Cubans vote more liberal.

Further north, Uscinski says voters are mixed. There is a large Jewish population as well as farmers and tourism workers.

In the northern panhandle he says there are religious voters that often lean Republican.

“If you look at how the state has voted over time you see big differences in the geography,” Uscinski said.

Uscinski told us if Marco Rubio doesn’t win the Florida primary, he will have zero momentum left.

“His campaign will go into a dead stop. He may choose to stay in just to try to keep his campaign alive and hope that there is going to be a brokered convention.”

Florida voters will head to the polls on Tuesday. This is a winner-take all state for Republicans and there are 99 delegates at stake.

No matter what happens during primary season Uscinski tells us Florida is the state to watch.

“It’s going to be really nasty and it might come down to the very last votes cast on election night so keep an eye on Florida,” said Uscinski.

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