The last time elections were so hot in Florida, it was Bush vs. Gore (on the ballot and in court) and we all learned a lot about what a "hanging chad" was. In 2016, the sunshine state is looking again to be at the center of the political world, with an open Senate seat, several hotly contested House of Representatives races and an important role to play in the presidential election.
Close balloting in all these races will reward broadcasters Scripps (SSP) , Sinclair (SBGI) , Fox (FOXA) , CBS (CBS) , Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC and Univision, Tribune (TRCO) , Tegna (TGNA) , Entravision (EVC) and others. Warren Buffett even owns a piece of the action. Deep dive: TV broadcasters will dominate political ad spending in 2016 -- here's how
Marco Rubio is vacating his Senate seat, and competition will be fierce. Candidates include liberal firebrand Representative Alan Grayson and moderate Democrat Representative Patrick Murphy, who face off in a late-August primary. Republicans who fear losing ground in the Senate have reportedly asked Rubio to consider running.
Southeastern Florida has two hot House races, as well.
Murphy's House seat in Florida's 18th Congressional District is tight. The district includes Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and part of Palm Beach County, adjacent to West Palm Beach, the 38th largest TV market in the U.S. according to Nielsen. Among the major networks, Scripps owns NBC affiliate WPTV and Sinclair owns CBS affiliate WPEC. Sinclair also has WTVX, affiliated with Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS joint venture CW Network, and WTCN, which carries Fox's MyNetwork.