Sunshine Bellwether

Florida was supposed to be an easy state for the G.O.P., but it's looking brighter for the Democrats

Florida was supposed to be a day at the beach for Republicans this year. With Jeb Bush firmly enthroned as one of the nation's most popular Governors, his brother George W.'s presidential campaign would glide through the state like an airboat on the Everglades. And a Republican-controlled legislature--the first ever in the old Confederacy--would escort G.O.P. Congressman Bill McCollum into retiring Republican Senator Connie Mack's seat. Endorsing McCollum last month, Mack rapturously hailed "the good news for all Florida Republicans."

So why all the bad news for Republicans now? George W. Bush is trailing Al Gore by 8 points in a...

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