FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Republican Party of Florida is expecting massive turnout for Florida’s primary on January 31.

The party also believes that as the Republican primary race tightens in South Carolina ahead of Saturday’s primary, Florida’s primary becomes even more important.

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“We’re the big prize and we think we’re in position to seal the deal for a front runner or radically change the field,” party spokesperson Brian Hughes told me Friday.

As expected, Hughes believes the winner of Florida will be the nominee.

Hughes also said that South Florida voters are about to see an explosion of campaign ads, by the middle of next week, as the campaigns turn their full attention to the Sunshine State.

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As for turnout, Hughes said there are more Republicans – about 4 million total – registered in the state now than in 2008 for the last primary. Hughes said in 2008 turnout for the primary was around 50 percent – about 1.9 million voters.

Even a similar turnout to 2008 would produce a greater turnout, Hughes said.

The party expects a fired-up base of voters to head to the polls when early voting begins throughout the majority of the state tomorrow.

Hughes also said more than 466,000 absentee ballots were requested this year, significantly more than in 2008.

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For more on the primary including sample ballots and where you can vote early starting Saturday, click here.