GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney touched down in Florida on Tuesday, making public appearances in both Tampa and Miami.
Romney got plenty of news coverage for his visit - and also picked up the endorsements of three well-known Cuban Americans who backed U.S. Sen. John McCain back in 2008.
The decision of his campaign to campaign in Central Florida and South Florida is likely a reflection of the math that led to Romney's defeat four years ago.
Romney lost the Florida primary to McCain by nearly 97,000 votes.
But the former Massachusetts governor's loss was not across the board.
Instead McCain and Romney found victory and defeat by how they fared in different parts of the state that each have their own unique sense of geopolitics.
Romney actually bested McCain in 17 counties. He had his strongest performances in Northeast Florida and in Southwest Florida. Romney won Duval County by more than 13,000 votes.
So why did Romney lose?
Because he lost to McCain in the Tampa Bay area and because he fared miserably in South Florida.
McCain took both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties by decent margins, but he really racked up a lead down south.
McCain did better than Romney in Broward County by more than 17,000 votes. McCain won Palm Beach County by more than 10,000 votes and had a 52,000 vote-plus edge over Romney in Miami-Dade.
In Miami-Dade Romney actually came in third trailing both McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Of course a lot of the buzz four years ago was that the late endorsement by Gov. Charlie Crist may have given McCain the momentum he needed to push past Romney.
This is a new day and a new election and Romney's focus on the economy and jobs should resonate in a state with more than 900,000 people out of work. (The unemployment rate in Florida back during the 2008 primary was 4.6 percent.)
But one has to wonder what kind of impact that Romney's hard-line stance on immigration will have in South Florida even with the recent endorsements of well-known politicians such as Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart.
If former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich remains a contender, it will be interesting how Gingrich's more nuanced stance on immigration will play in Miami-Dade. Current voter stats show that 9.1 percent of all registered Republicans in Florida live in Miami-Dade.
There is a school of thought that one reason that Bill McCollum lost to Rick Scott in last year's GOP primary for governor is because McCollum suddenly took a hard-line stance on immigration in response to Scott's television ad barrage that made McCollum appear soft on the issue. The thinking is that this left Hispanic Republicans lukewarm when it came to both candidates. Scott was also able to accuse McCollum of being a flip-flopper.
What is indisputable is that Scott squeaked out a 36,000 vote victory in a primary that saw both Broward and Miami-Dade have low turnout margins compared to the rest of the state.
Broward turnout in the GOP primary for governor didn't even top 15 percent, while Miami-Dade turnout was 17.9 percent. McCollum won both counties, but not with the kinds of margins to help him offset his loss in places such as Scott's home county of Collier or in Duval County.
Is a presidential preference primary and a governor's primary the same thing? Absolutely not.
But it's hard not to wonder if some of the new advisers for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (including the team which helped engineer Scott's victory) have looked at the math and concluded that Romney remains vulnerable in Florida. (Especially if Perry is able to hold onto his money and use it for television ads during the home stretch before the Jan. 31 primary.)
Romney's path to the nomination will be a lot easier if he cruises to easy victories in states such as New Hampshire and Florida.
But if Romney loses again then Florida could be the precursor to a much longer and drawn-out nomination fight.