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Scott Walker to blow off Florida in 2016?

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Strange as it may sound, Scott Walker has been overshadowed in the press over the past month, despite the fact that the Wisconsin governor continues to lead everyone in Iowa and is second in most polls in New Hampshire and in national surveys.

But he certainly made news when he suggested on Laura Ingraham‘s nationally syndicated radio program Tuesday morning that if in fact he gets into the race (like Jeb Bush, he’s non-candidate officially at the moment), he’s likely to stay away from the Sunshine State, home to two of his toughest challengers for the Republican nomination for president.

“If we chose to get in, I don’t think there’s a state out there we wouldn’t play in, other than maybe Florida, where Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are,” Walker said.

“Some of the polls are essentially tied and they’re going to eat up a good amount of that financial advantage that Gov. Bush is going to have,” he said, adding that Rick Scott’s re-election campaign cost nearly $100 million in 2014. “A good chunk of that will be going up to the Florida primary.”

The Florida Primary is scheduled for March 15, 2016, the earliest that it can be held without incurring serious penalties from the Republican National Committee. The first four presidential contests are scheduled for Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Walker is extremely competitive in all four of those states, according to a compendium of polls assembled by Real Clear Politics.

“And I think our message — common sense conservative reform — if we were to get into the election, could play just about anywhere out there, and I think that if we also ended up being a candidate, we’d be focused on the caucus in Iowa, and the primaries in places like New Hampshire and South Carolina and all down the line,” he told Ingraham.

Walker is slated to be among the Republican presidential contenders who will be speaking at a forum convened by Governor Scott next Tuesday in Orlando.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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