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Fla. broke rules to gain influence on nomination
Seeking influence, Florida once again jumps ahead of schedule in presidential primary calendar
By The Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) ' Florida broke the presidential primary rules ' again ' but officials figure it's worth a penalty for their state to maintain a relevant voice in nominating candidates for the White House.

Florida voters choose their candidate for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, the fourth state in the nominating process. As a penalty the state loses half its delegates to the GOP convention.

As it did in 2008, Florida went against the national parties and set its primary for the last Tuesday in January. In response, New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina moved up their dates too.

The strategy paid off for Florida four years ago. John McCain carried the state and used the momentum to win the Republican nomination. Florida could again play a pivotal role this year.

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