Florida is going to make history Tuesday in a way nobody expected.
It figures to either cap Democrat Barack Obama's sweeping victory in the presidential election -- or, possibly, become the springboard for a remarkable rally by Republican John McCain. And, like the epic battle of 2000, it could be very close.
That's not the way it was supposed to happen.
Long considered McCain country, with retirees, veterans and a cheerleading Republican governor, Florida is a red state often misdiagnosed as a purple battleground because of the super-close 2000 vote. Barack Obama and other Democrats wrote off the state's renegade early primary back in 2007. Florida seemed lost to the Democratic Party.
But when the economy crashed in mid-September, Obama was poised to take advantage of a mounting backlash against the GOP in one of the hardest-hit states. The Democratic campaign already had television ads on the air and hundreds of staffers on the ground.
McCain has struggled to keep up ever since, in Florida and in other states won handily by George W. Bush.
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