American Dispatch: A Primary on the Horizon

By: FOX News Radio’s Jennifer Keiper in Florida

Welcome to Florida…



Land of blue-green water, sunny skies, and politicians who are asking voters to get to the polls this week and be sure to remind friends and relatives to do the same.

Florida voters, while diverse, share three common concerns: jobs, housing and immigration.

When it comes to housing, the bubble burst hard and fast in the Sunshine State.  I’ve spotted quite a few “For Sale” and “Short Sale” signs in my travels around Tampa and Orlando.

Here in Florida… the food…

And some of the neighborhoods I’ve strolled through – like Ybor City (pronounced ee-bor) in Tampa – which resembles Bourbon Street..

Have a Latin flair, as well as many voters who wonder what the candidates will do when it comes to Statehood for Puerto Rico, trade with Cuba and immigration issues.

The top two GOP candidates have been addressing those topics, coming off of a weekend of giving speeches, shaking hands and posing for pictures.

Newt Gingrich has been traveling through Central Florida, reaching out to evangelicals and Tea Party members.

Gingrich also made a Sunday stop in a huge retirement community known as “The Villages.“  I had to fight for elbow room at the local stores and a restaurant. This is high-season for “snowbirds” (the northerners who come down for some warmth).  It’s also a haven for elaborate golf carts…

Meantime, Mitt Romney has spent time in the panhandle and it has been no holds barred for the front-runner and the super PAC that supports him as they hit the airwaves hard with attack ads.

Gingrich, on the Sunday talk shows, says his chief rival has adopted a “basic policy of carpet-bombing his opponent.”

Most of the polls show Mitt Romney in the lead. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have been running far behind. Santorum has been handling a family medical emergency in Pennsylvania. Paul has chosen to focus on Maine and Nevada.

When the sun sets and the polls close Tuesday – it’s “winner take all” – the prize – 50 Florida delegates.

Listen HERE to some of Jennifer Keiper’s reporting from Florida: