Friday, April 6, 2012

Media & Presidential Campaigns: Special Guest: William March, Tampa Tribune

During our week on media and presidential campaigns, we heard from WILLIAM MARCH, veteran reporter from the TAMPA TRIBUNE, who has been covering state and national politics in Florida through many election cycles. (It's rumored that March "covered God back when he was a County Commissioner.")

We talked about the importance of Florida in presidential elections. It is incredibly unlikely that a Republican presidential ticket could get to 270 electoral votes without Florida. Indeed, Florida is the only swing state of the top 4 "mega states," and it is the swingiest of swing states. Of the last 5 presidential elections in Florida, 2 went to Democrats, 2 to Republicans, and 1 was a tie. (If you combine all of the ballots cast in those last 5 elections and tallied them up, there were about 31 million ballots cast. Of those, there was a Democratic advantage of approximately 57,000 votes. 2/10 of a percentage point difference!)

And, of course, within the swing state of Florida, Tampa Bay ("anchor of the I-4 corridor") is in the battleground region of the state.

William March has been covering national and state politics from the vantage point of the Tampa Bay region, and students learned a great deal from his expert analysis of the current Republican primary and the 2012 general election -- as well as his thoughts about media coverage of campaigns and the role of the print media in the current media environment.

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