Campaigns ready Bay Area headquarters before March 15

- The political sights are set on Florida and its March 15 primary. Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton's campaign opened their Tampa headquarters as they try to deliver a knockout blow to Bernie Sanders.

Thursday afternoon, Marco Rubio will open his office in Brandon. Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump also have offices in the area.

The Clinton campaign believes March 15 could very well be a defining night for her.

"(It) is where we put the final nail in the coffin," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a campaign surrogate for Clinton. "Florida is going to decide who the nominees are."

Her supporters were energized following her office opening in Ybor City.

"We are claiming it," said Evelyn Golden. "I declare and decree that she is going to win Florida."

While Clinton performed well on Super Tuesday and sees Florida as the end of Bernie Sanders, native-son Rubio sees Florida as the beginning of a comeback against Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, as he told FOX 13's Craig Patrick during an interview on Wednesday morning.

"I am going to support the Republican nominee because it is not going be Donald Trump, it is going to be me," said Rubio. "It is going to be a hard fight. Florida is going to be key, I think if we win Florida, we will be very difficult to stop ourselves but we have to win here, and we are going to work really hard to do it."

The hard work happens a bit differently in Florida.

Yes, office workers organize door knocks and phone banks. Ted Cruz volunteers have a storefront on Dale Mabry while Bernie Sanders organizers will work out of a home in Seminole Heights, along with other offices in Tampa Bay.

Two weeks out though, it'll be about TV commercials.

"You can't expect to go door to door and meet with voters in their kitchens," said Patrick. "(Not) when you have 19 million people."

Patrick says there is one big question mark: While Trump leads most state polls, 150,000 Republicans have already voted by mail, before Jeb Bush dropped out of the race.

"(That) could be the difference between Marco Rubio and Donald Trump," Patrick explained. 

On the Democratic side, Patrick says Florida has long been friendly turf to the Clintons. Mayor Bob Buckhorn ran Bill Clinton's Tampa effort in 1996 and is already setting his sights beyond the nomination.

"Send Donald Trump back to wherever the hell he came from," said Buckhorn.

The Sanders campaign already has several offices around Tampa Bay, including in Tampa and St. Pete. The Trump campaign has offices in Sarasota and Tampa.

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