Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Were You Looking For Florida GOP Primary Results?


Before the final votes were counted tonight, Santorum was already running (at least online) a new ad for Nevada (above). Yep, here we go again.

You know, I ran across this cool interactive-ish graphic and I couldn't resist running it instead of a full-blown post on the Florida election returns. I hope no one minds. I do want to sum that Florida thing up with something that came out in one of the exit polls, though: 57% of Republican primary voters want someone else to jump into the race-- and a plurality of them are Romney voters. And don't listen to the conventional wisdom that all the Santorum voters would vote for Newt if only. Exit polls showed that 63% of Santorum voters today feel favorable toward Romney, and only 49% feel favorable toward the Newtster. In the end Willard took Florida with 46.4%-- so less than the combined strength of the odd collection of the 3 conservatives-- and Newt came in with 31.9%, Santorum with 13.4% and Ron Paul with 7%.

Newt swept the whole panhandle, except for Leon, Okaloosa and Bay counties. Generally speaking, Newt took all the really backward places up near the Georgia and Alabama borders and a few teabagger redoubts in south central Florida like Hardee and DeSoto counties. But the counties where people read and write and still have their front teeth when they turn 21... Romney won them all. Newt's biggest wins were in the aptly named Dixie County (54.9%- 26.6%) and Hamilton (practically part of Georgia-- 56.4%- 21.5%). Romney's support from Cuban right-wingers won him a 60.9% share of Miami-Dade and that made him, basically, unbeatable.

But I do have some Florida stats for you. 92% of the Republican primary ads were negative. This morning, the radio trade site, Radio-Info.com asked the question, Which candidates were spending money in Florida? And they answered it as well:
Mitt Romney (a lot), New Gingrich (about one-quarter as much as Romney) and Rich Santorum and Ron Paul-– not at all. Media Monitors tracked the multiple media markets of the Sunshine State for the month of January, and found this-– 2,196 campaign-run spots for Mitt Romney. 492 for Newt Gingrich. None for the rest of the field. Those were spots run and “authorized by” the candidate himself. How about the Super PACS? Many fewer spots. The pro-Romney “Restore Our Future” bought 234 radio ads that “attempted to denigrate New Gingrich”, says Media Monitors. The Gingrich-leaning “Winning Our Future” was on the air, bigtime-– 1,537 pro-Newt ads and 1,796 negative ads about Romney. The Service Employees International Union bought 247 anti-Romney ads. The American Family Association was on Newt’s side, with 438 ads. Ron Paul basically skipped Florida and Rick Santorum didn't have the warchest of Romney and Gingrich. One thing's for sure-- the ads are welcome at most radio stations, and the longer the GOP nominating process stretches out, the more money will be spent on media.

As for the TV ads, 68% were anti-Gingrich, 23% anti-Romney, 9% pro-Gingrich, and just 0.1% pro-Romney. I mean, let's face it, even his own SuperPAC can't come up with anything to say positive about him that won't make people switch the channel in disgust. While President Obama is on the same page with the radio industry on that one, I'm not sure how El Presidente feels about his old kissin' cousin, Charlie Crist, once the Republican governor of the Sunshine State laying the groundwork for the big party switch. After a couple weeks of seeing all the GOP right-wing madness playing out in his state, he told Chuck Todd he's considering voting for President Obama in November.
“Consider? Sure, I would consider that,” said Crist. “I really think he’s sincere and genuine. I think we have a lot time, a lot of issues to talk about, but I think, in his heart, he’s trying to do what’s right for the country overall.”

Now a registered independent, Crist said he also wouldn't rule out running for office as a Democrat himself in the future.

“I wouldn’t definitively rule out anything,” the former governor said.

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