(CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton said Sunday she will be in Florida for Tuesday night's Democratic primary, the latest sign the New York senator is seeking to capitalize on what is likely to be a strong performance there despite the fact party sanctions have rendered the primary essentially meaningless.
In a Saturday statement, Clinton said “We now turn our attention to the millions of Americans who will make their voices heard in Florida" followed by states that vote February 5. In a Sunday morning press conference, she repeated that her focus had shifted to Florida.
"I intend to be in Florida Tuesday night," she told reporters in Nashville, Tennessee. "The votes of the people of Florida and of course Michigan really matter to me. I am running to the president of our entire country."
Florida results will not currently count toward the Democratic presidential nomination, since its delegates will not be allowed to be seated at the party's convention this summer, because of penalties arising from the state party's decision to schedule its primary ahead of February 5.
Following the party's sanctions, the major presidential candidates, including Clinton and rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards, agreed not to formally campaign in the state. They are allowed to hold fundraisers in the state, and Clinton is expected to fundraise there later Sunday.
Clinton's campaign has increasingly stressed the importance of the state over the last several days, and on Friday, the New York senator called on her party to reinstate Florida's delegates, as well as those in Michigan who faced similar penalties.
Clinton was the only major candidate to appear on the ballot in Michigan, and won that state's Democratic primary, with 55 percent of the vote.
Howard Wolfson, Clinton's communications director, also circulated a memo Saturday stressing the state's importance in the Democratic race.
"Regardless of today's outcome, the race quickly shifts to Florida, where hundreds of thousands of Democrats will turn out to vote on Tuesday," Wolfson wrote. "Despite efforts by the Obama campaign to ignore Floridians, their voices will be heard loud and clear across the country, as the last state to vote before Super Tuesday on February 5."
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton sharply responded to that statement. "If the Clinton campaign's southern strength rests on the outcome in a state where they're the only ones competing, that should give Democrats deep pause."
– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Rebecca Sinderbrand
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