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Orlando is 'purple' when it comes to political donors

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to the Port of Tampa on April 13, 2012 in Tampa, Fla.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures during a speech at a campaign stop May 16, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Jeremy Hobson: President Obama will be in the Orlando area today for a campaign event. Central Florida has become a big fundraising destination for both the president and Mitt Romney.

Marketplace's David Gura explains why.


David Gura: One of Orlando’s biggest Democratic fundraisers is a lawyer named John Morgan.

John Morgan: Without being overly dramatic, the I-4 Corridor will decide whether Obama or Romney wins.

I-4 is a highway in this important swing state that goes from Daytona Beach to Tampa, and it cuts right through Orlando. That area is home to a lot of independent voters -- and donors with deep pockets.

Donald Davison teaches political science at Rollins College.

Donald Davison: Historically, real estate developers are a very significant source of contributors.

They tend to give to Republicans.  Davison’s colleague at Rollins, Rick Foglesong, says Democrats have a big base here too:

Rick Foglesong: African-American athletes.

Lawyer John Morgan has hosted fundraisers with NBA stars Patrick Ewing, Grant Hill, and Vince Carter.

Terri Fine teaches political science at the University of Central Florida, and she says the area is seeing a lot of new money.

Terri Fine: Because the community is consistently growing, there is sort of room for more people to sort of wedge their way in.

Which is good news for candidates in both parties.

In Orlando, I’m David Gura, for Marketplace.

 

 

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures during a speech at a campaign stop May 16, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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