Florida may have turned temporarily blue for the 2008 presidential election, but the state remains decidedly reddish in hue. It has controlled the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee for more than a decade as well as both houses of the legislature. Since 1996, when the GOP took control of the Florida House (it had taken the Senate four years earlier) the number of Democrats serving in Tallahassee continued to plummet, although 2006 saw Democrats re-take some seats, but not enough to win control of either chamber in the state house.
Control in Tallahassee matters especially this year because of the re-districting that will occur once the Census results are in. Currently, Democrats do not have a seat at the table, but if they can win the governorship, they would be able to influence the process. Not only will the congressional lines be redrawn, but Florida is likely to gain two congressional seats so the district maps will be especially important.