Voters on Florida’s Gulf Coast head to the polls Tuesday to fill a vacant U.S. Congressional seat in a special election watched by both major parties for what it portends for November when all 435 congressional seats will be up for grabs.
“It’s still anybody’s guess who’s going to win. Turnout is key,” Susan MacManus, a longtime political analyst and professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, told Reuters less than 24 hours before polls opened.
Florida’s is a big swing state, with 27 seats in the House of Representatives, tied with New York state for the third largest delegation in the nation, and behind only California and Texas.
A Democratic victory would be a major blow to the Republican party heading into the fall mid-term elections, as well as the next presidential race in 2016.