Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Florida: After the Vote
Alright, we know it already, Mitt Romney won and won big. In looking at the electoral map of Florida, the predictions that Newt Gingrich would hold northern Florida (the area that MSNBC decided to offensively slander) were true. He won a majority of the counties in the Panhandle, some in the north, yet did not win Duval County (Jacksonville) and three other counties. The rest of the state, with the exception of some Southern-Central interior counties, went for Romney, including the Miami/South Florida region and the very important I-4 Corridor. Exit interviews cite "Romney's electability" as the primary reason for his victory (And yes, I still question it), but it must also be noted Newt was outspent three to one in Florida, had the major political leaders against him (and for Romney) and was uncharacteristically flat in the debates in Tampa and Jacksonville. Moving forward, three candidates, believe it or not, still have a path to the nomination:
Mitt Romney: He must come to the honest realization that Conservatives do not trust him in terms of belief and strength. They see his past comments, his unwillingness to challenge opponents of the other party and his questioning of a fair journalist questioning him on RomneyCare. To do this, he has to run to the right of Newt, make sure to refrain from making comments the left could easily take out of context, copy his style of becoming the spokesperson for Conservatism and campaign with "No Fear!"
Newt Gingrich: In the interest of full disclosure, I still support Newt Gingrich and will continue to do so. What Newt did in South Carolina was masterful-he became the spokesperson for the Conservative movement. In Florida, he fell off message and wasn't direct enough, but must return this month and not only cite Reagan, but emulate his sunny optimism and Conservative message.
Rick Santorum: We must give credit in that he won Iowa. Not only was it his hard work and willingness to meet every voter and kiss every baby that won it for him (remember the example I gave...his endurance is no surprise), it was his ideas and vision. He is also the only one who hasn't seriously deviated from the Conservative movement. If Gingrich and Romney continue pounding on each other, not focusing on the President, and Santorum gains a little gravitas while in debates or in interviews, votes could take notice and he could quietly sneak up on the other two. It may be a longshot, but stranger things have happened.
We have 46 states to go and yes, this race is still wide open.
NOTE: The picture above is a peaceful and serene Downtown Square in Ocala, Florida, symbolizing the peace and serenity that returns to Florida, now that the election has ended...well, until the Republican National Convention.