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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Absentee ballot requests exploding in Fla; Trouble for Newt?



By presidential primary day in 2008 elections officials in Florida's 67 counties had received about 307,000 Republican absentee ballot requests and about 250,000 of them were actually voted. Already this year more than 360,000 Republican absentee ballot requests have come in.


On the one hand, you could consider this good news for Newt Gingrich who is well ahead in the polls at this point and has the opportunity to bank votes while he's way ahead. But it takes a campaign apparatus to identify supporters, chase absentee ballots, and get those ballots cast. There has been virtually no Gingrich campaign operation in Florida until very recently, while both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have top notch teams well equipped to go after those absentee ballots.

"You're going to see the effect of campaign in Florida, and campaigns matter," said Pat Neal, a Romney supporter in Manatee county."You're going to see it with the TV buys, the radio buys, the voter Id's, the robo calls and the GOTV. I think Newt Gingrich will be overwhelmed in this state."

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 10:56am]


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