That’s how many Florida counties backed President Barack Obama in 2008 after voting four years earlier for Republican President George W. Bush.
One of them is Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, the site of this week’s Republican National Convention. Hillsborough backed Obama by 53 percent to 46 percent over Arizona Senator John McCain in 2008, a partisan mirror image of the 53 percent to 46 percent margin by which Bush carried the county over Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in 2004.
Another one of the four Obama-Bush counties is Pinellas, which abuts Hillsborough to the west and includes St. Petersburg. Pinellas backed Obama by 54 percent to 45 percent and Bush by 49.6 percent to 49.5 percent.
Obama won Florida by 51 percent to 48 percent four years after Bush prevailed there by 52 percent to 47 percent.
Hillsborough and Pinellas share a media market where about 7,000 presidential election ads ran in the 30-day period ended Aug. 20, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks advertising. That’s more than any other Florida market and the sixth-most in the nation.
By holding the Republican convention in Tampa, party officials underscored the importance they place on winning the region and state. Florida, with 29 electoral votes, is the most populous swing state, and the winner of Hillsborough may well again carry Florida and win the national election on Nov. 6.