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UF political science professors preview nationwide races

Audio report by Chip Skambis - WUFT-FM

Q&A with Daniel Smith, UF political science professor

Blue or red, donkey or elephant, Democrat or Republican — Tuesday voters nationwide will be making decisions for local, state and national elections.

Richard Scher, a political science professor at the University of Florida, said he does not think Florida will be the critical state in this presidential election. Scher said his studies focus on voting right, including voter suppression.

"Florida is sort of out of it," Scher said. "Ohio will be most important, and other important states include Virginia, New Hampshire and Colorado."

Even though Florida may not be the focus of this year's election, the data suggests the race is close in the "Sunshine State."

"The race is very close, but I think Florida will go to Romney," Scher said. "I think the Obama camp knew Florida was a longshot."

The economy has been cited as the main issue of this election, but Scher said he thinks voters will choose a president based on who they have more confidence in. At the polls, people will be asking who can lead the nation out of these troubled times, according to Scher.

The media, politicians and pundits will make predictions throughout the day, but official results will not be revealed until late tonight. If any problems arise, results could take even longer.

The UF Department of Political Science is hosting a post-election discussion called "What just happened (and didn't happen)?" on Wednesday at Pugh Hall in room 170 at 6:30 p.m.

The event panel will include Paul D'Anieri, the dean of  the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Michael Martinez, the political science department chair, as well as various political science professors. Scher said faculty, students and people from the community are welcome to the discussion.

Cassandra is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.