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Posts Tagged ‘Florida Primary Election’

Huff Post- Posted: 02/ 1/2012 10:21 am  By-

The Florida primary is in the history books and, as analysts predicted, Mitt Romney romped Newt Gingrich. While the Romney campaign should pat itself on the back for its double-digit victory, they should keep the champagne on ice for now. The polls show President Obama down in Florida, but he may have gotten the last laugh.

Here are four troubling signs for the GOP emerging from the Sunshine State’s primary:

1. Statewide GOP turnout is down from 2008

You would think that with a Republican Party whose “single most important political goal” is to make President Obama a one-term president, GOP voters would have flocked to the polls; however, they did not.

Compared to the 2008 primary, GOP turnout was down 14% on Tuesday. In 2008, 1,949,498 Republicans cast their ballot in the Florida primary; last night, the number was 1,672,702. Are there less registered Republicans now in Florida than there were in 2008? No, there are 25,000 more.

The cause for the drop in GOP turnout last night is unclear. The Republican base isn’t electrified by its front-runner candidate, but it would be foolish for Democrats to assume that means they won’t show up to vote in November because the one thing they are fired up about is defeating President Obama. However, as we saw in the 2000 Florida recount, elections are sometimes won on the slimmest of margins, and Washington Republicans are going to need all hands on deck if they want to defeat the president.

2. Romney’s favorability ratings are down and his negatives are up

Romney may have bombarded Gingrich with negative ads and outspent him 5:1 in Florida, but as the HuffPost Pollster chart below shows, it wasn’t just the former speaker’s image that took a dive as the GOP candidates toured the Sunshine State.

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Mitt Romney Wins: Florida Primary Results 2012

Huff Post- Posted: 1/31/12 08:00 PM ET  |  Updated: 1/31/12 08:08 PM ET

Mitt Romney was projected the winner of Tuesday’s presidential primary election in Florida by the Associated Press.

The former Massachusetts governor was running ahead in the polls going into the contest.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was projected to finish in second place. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum was projected to finish in third with U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in fourth.

Ahead of Tuesday, Gingrich said he intended to continue his campaign for the White House regardless of the outcome of the contest.

This is a developing story… More information to come…

Check out the live blog below for the latest developments out of Florida.

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Newt Gingrich, On Eve Of Likely Florida Loss, Unleashes Wild Attacks On Mitt Romney

Huff Post- Posted: 1/31/12 12:00 AM ET  |  Updated: 1/31/12 09:13 AM ET

TAMPA, Fla. — Meet Newt Gingrich, the human Roman Candle.

Gingrich and Mitt Romney on Monday staggered to the end of a brutal week of campaigning in Florida, one in which they took increasingly nasty and personal shots at one another. But the day marked a new level of angry and relentless attacks on Romney by Gingrich, the former House speaker from Georgia.

From morning until the last of five events at the end of the day, Gingrich branded Romney a liar and cheat, accusing him of suppressing religious liberty and trying to “buy the election.”

The strain of the nastiness showed on both men. Romney’s voice was hoarse as he spoke at his last of three events, in front of a few thousand people at The Villages, a massive retirement community 90 minutes northeast of Tampa. But in a sign of growing confidence and looseness as a candidate, Romney led the crowd in singing “America the Beautiful,” a tune he has mentioned on the campaign trail all month without breaking into song.

Romney didn’t mention Gingrich by name at his last event, after mocking and dismissing him earlier in the day.

Gingrich, on the other hand, launched himself into the Romney juggernaut with a level of fury and desperation certain to produce uneasiness in the GOP for its poisonous tone. Gingrich has vowed to carry his candidacy all the way to the GOP convention, but his actions Monday bore a wildness that could call his campaign’s longevity into doubt.

Gingrich continued to harp on a charge that Romney, during his time as Massachusetts governor, vetoed funds to expand the provision of kosher food for Bay State retirees. Gingrich said Romney has a “lack of concern for religious liberty.”

“Romney cut off kosher food to elderly Jews on Medicare,” Gingrich said, stretching the truth. And Gingrich also hit Romney for a 2005 decision as governor to require Roman Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception, which many Catholics believe is a form of abortion, to rape victims.

“You want a war on the Catholic church by Obama? Guess what: Romney refused to allow Catholic hospitals to have conscience in their dealing with certain circumstances,” Gingrich said.

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