The Fight: Bush v. Rubio in Florida

Today, seven Republican presidential candidates will join together at an economic forum in Florida to discuss issues key to reviving the stagnating American economy. All eyes will be on the state’s two favorite sons.

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are vying for both the state’s financial backing and its voters. Both are leaders in early primary polls which may mean the fight could last until the March 15 primary next year.

Given the tens of millions of dollars being hauled in by both campaigns, the prospect of either of them being among the early primary drop-outs is low. This reality has analysts already measuring which individual has the biggest advantaged in a Florida head-to-head matchup.

The former governor of the Sunshine State, Jeb Bush has built a formidable political network since 1994 which includes operatives, consultants, and hundreds of volunteers chomping at the bit to play a role in a top-level campaign.

Although his network is dwarfed by Bush’s, Rubio has been on the statewide ballot more recently and is well-liked by Floridians. That strength, added to his Cuban heritage, gives him a distinct edge in areas where Jeb Bush is most weak.

Today’s event will be hosted by Gov. Rick Scott and will feature 30-minute addresses by the seven candidates. Rubio and Bush will serve as the bookends in the line-up. It marks the first time during the primary campaign in which the two have appeared on the same stage.