Watch Pinellas and Palm Beach counties tonight

Our friends over at Saint Petersblog will appreciate this plug…while Hillsborough often is the county to watch when returns come in for statewide races, tonight it could be across the bay in Pinellas that tells the story. Pinellas is often the first large county to report in full and should Governor Crist not amass a large “hometown” advantage over Governor Scott, those votes will need to be made up in liberal southeast Florida. Should Crist crush Scott in Pinellas, Scott will need to badly over-perform in Hillsborough, Miami-Dade and Orange.

Also two critical House seats HD-65 and HD-68 will be decided early in Pinellas. I expected the Democrats to retain both seats entering today but given the turnout thus far, I am beginning to get concerned about HD-65 (Zimmerman).

A fearless prediction for tonight- Crist will gain a greater plurality of votes out Palm Beach County than President Obama did in 2012. If my gut on this is correct, the Scott team will have lots of ground to make up, and Maria Sachs will cruise to reelection with David Silvers potentially upsetting Bill Hager.

Keep an eye on Pinellas and Palm Beach.

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