The six political states of Florida

There is one constant in Florida politics: Its elections will be close. Slightly more than 15 million people lived in the state in 2000, when Florida’s votes decided the presidential election. Close to 22 million people will live in the state by November, and they’ve come from everywhere — retirees from the Midwest, tax exiles from the Northeast, Puerto Ricans settling down in Orlando.

When they arrive, Floridians settle into one of 10 media markets covering very different political cultures. None of it has altered the competitiveness of the state. Blue Florida has gotten bluer, with suburbanites moving away from the GOP; red Florida has gotten redder, with conservative Democrats who stayed with the party for decades finally making the switch.