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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dueling views of the prez campaigns in Fla



The Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns released competing memos today about the state of the race and their campaigns in Fla:

TO:                  Interested Parties

FROM:             Molly Donlin, Romney-Ryan 2012 Florida State Director

SUBJECT:         OFA – Obviously Flailing Around…in Florida.


The reality is that every metric in Florida shows Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will capture Florida’s 29 Electoral Votes on their way to the White House. The Obama Campaign knows this, which is why they are hoping against hopeWhen campaigns are on the run, they start spinning. And right now OFA in Florida is spinning faster than an Iranian centrifuge.


First things first: Mitt Romney leads in 6 out of the 7 most recent polls released in the state. Mason-Dixon, the most respected poll in Florida, had Governor Romney at +7 to start the month of October.

OFA’s memo today notes “Puerto Ricans are growing into a larger share of the electorate” yet just last month, their Hispanic Pollster noted "If we are to carry Florida we need to do better among Puerto Ricans in the Orlando area." (Guardian, 09/03/12)

Since then, numerous polls confirm that Mitt Romney has closed the gap among Hispanic voters in Florida. That same Mason-Dixon poll mentioned above also showed President Obama actually losing Hispanics, a key component of his Democratic base vote in Florida. Other polls by FIU/Miami Herald and PPP confirm that President Obama is underperforming his margins among Hispanics from 2008, while Mitt Romney is well exceeding John McCain’s performance among Hispanics just four years ago.

Florida turned away from President Obama several weeks ago, and OFA has been powerless to do anything about it.

Ground Game:

Democrats keep talking about the number of offices they have open. It’s a hollow metric. Romney for President has fewer offices, fewer staff, but we’re outworking and out-hustling Obama for America.

·      Contacts – The reason OFA keeps talking about how many offices they have open is because they can’t talk about how many voters contacts they have made. In Florida, the Romney Campaign has made 10.5 million voter contacts in just six months. Voter contacts are the truly important metric, because it measures how many times a campaign has made a person to person contact to a voters. Despite having less staff and fewer offices, polls confirm that we’re contacting voters at or above the rate that the Obama Campaign is contacting them. An ABC/Washington Post poll found “Among likely voters who’ve been contacted by his campaign, 63 percent in fact are Romney supporters. That’s on pace with Obama…It’s a measure on which Obama led Romney by 17 percentage points just two weeks ago, and was ahead of McCain by 22 points at this time in 2008.” (ABC, 10/26/12)

·      Absentee Ballots – Republicans are leading Democrats in absentee requests by over 42,000 voters. We continue to see support for the fact that Democrats are merely converting early voters into absentee voters. In fact, more than 23% of Democrat absentee voters were early voters four years ago.

·      Independent Voters – More than 480,000 independents have voted or have their absentee ballots in hand. Mitt Romney leads President Obama by 8 points among Independent voters, according to the Democrat-leaning PPP poll (PPP, 10/14/12).

·     "Sporadic" Voters – OFA likes to talk about sporadic or low propensity voters. The fact is, we’re beating them on this metric too. More than 10% of our voters who skipped the last four general elections have already requested or returned an absentee ballot, and nearly a quarter of our voters who have only voted in one out of the last four general elections have done the same.

·      Enthusiasm Gap – While Repbulicans have a narrow lead in absentee ballot requests (which makes sense considering the Democrat’s traditional voter registration advantage) we have a growing lead among absentee ballot returns: more than 5 points. This is a sign that Florida Democrats just aren’t fired up or ready to go for another four years of the Obama Economy.

·      Winners Close – In just the past week alone, Republicans have added more than 84,000 absentee requests.


As the Tampa Bay Times Adam Smith reported (10/16/12), our campaign is also just plain out-hustling President Obama and OFA Florida. In October alone, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Mrs. Romney have held 16 different events across the Sunshine State. During that same period of time, despite enjoying all the advantages of being President, including a big blue plane that shuts down airspace wherever it goes, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Mrs. Obama have only held 6 events in Florida. President Obama simply isn’t competing for Florida has hard as his team would have you believe.

When you look at these numbers, you start to understand why President Obama is making fewer visits to Florida and focusing his precious time in other states. Florida is playing an important role in the national wave of enthusiasm for Governor Romney. It’s a wave that will be felt in Virginia, Ohio and throughout the country as Mitt Romney becomes the next President of the United States in just 10 short days. 


From the Obama campaign:

By Jeremy Bird, National Field Director
October 27, 2012
As in-person early voting starts in Florida today, we’re just 10 days away from keeping a key battleground and re-electing President Obama. And while the outcome will be the same as in 2008, much has changed in Florida’s electorate over the last four years.
First, Democrats have dramatically cut into Republicans’ advantage in vote-by-mail—an area where the Republicans have historically been stronger. At this point four years ago, the Republican advantage exceeded 257,000 voters. But this year, it’s just over 33,500—an 87 percent drop. In a state President Obama won by nearly 240,000 votes, that's a 223,500-vote swing even the dizziest Republican can't spin away. Democrats have also cut the GOP’s 2008 advantage in absentee ballots returned so far by 55 percent.
Why does all this matter? Remember: In spite of the vote-by-mail disadvantages we faced in 2008, President Obama still won Florida. In 2012, we’re closing those gaps.
Second, the Florida electorate—just like the rest of the nation’s—has grown much more diverse since 2008:
·         Of the over 300,000 Hispanics who have registered to vote since President Obama was elected four years ago, nine out of ten signed up as Democrats or Independents, and only 10 percent registered as Republicans.
·         More than 100,000 African-American and Caribbean-American voters registered since November 2008.
·         Among those who have cast mail ballots already, 14 percent are African-American, Latino Democrats, or Latino Independents—up from 12 percent at this point in 2008. Latino Republicans have fallen from 7 percent of mail voters at this point in 2008 to just 5 percent today.
·         We estimate minority voters will make up more than 30 percent of the vote in Florida this year, up from 28 percent in 2008.
In a state like Florida that is won at the margins, this is a significant shift. And it’s matched by significant enthusiasm. Nearly 20,000 fired-up Floridians turned out for registration rallies when the First Lady visited campuses in Gainesville and Tallahassee last month. And Puerto Ricans are growing into a larger share of the electorate, a trend that favors President Obama. Two former governors of Puerto Rico, one a Democrat and one a Republican, came together to hold a rally in Kissimmee for President Obama earlier this month.
There’s one more big change: Florida’s even more important this year, holding 29 electoral votes—two more than in 2008. With an increasingly diverse electorate and the historic grassroots operation we’ve built over the past four years, Florida is ready prove that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

[Last modified: Saturday, October 27, 2012 2:53pm]


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