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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pinellas GOP volunteers optimistic



PALM HARBOR -- Longtime Republican volunteer Sheila Waller says feedback from Tuesday's election appears good heading into evening voting.

"As far as we hear, the turnout is good -- good for Republicans," said Waller, a volunteer at the North Pinellas Republican Party office on U.S. 19.

In strongly Republican area, Waller and volunteer Joe Barbara say local clubs and tea party movement members have a level of enthusiasm that's a reverse of 2008 when John McCain ran for president and volunteers merely voted against the Democrats, not enthusiastically for a Republican.

The office put out hundreds of final calls to voters in Pinellas and Pasco counties for Republicans this morning, and expect a new wave of call sheets for the Panhandle this evening.

"People are hearing about the whole slate," Waller said of outreach efforts, adding, "there's a lot more calling going on this year than in the past."

Waller and Barbara said tea party support particularly has been helpful in north Pinellas, as has Marco Rubio's strong campaign -- a combination that seemed to lift Republicans.

"The difference is Republicans are motivated and the Democrats are not. That's the big difference," Waller said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 5:46pm]


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