How Obama won Fla
The optimism among Mitt Romney's Florida campaign team was clear on Twitter throughout Election Day:
10:05 a.m., senior Romney adviser Brett Doster: "53% of Clay County already voted by 9:45 a.m. Huge NE FL turnout projected. Great news for @mittromney."
10:58 a.m., Doster again: "2 to 3 hour waits currently in Republican heavy Kendall Precincts in Miami-Dade."
1:29 p.m., Romney adviser Alberto Martinez: "Bellwether precinct in Coral Gables projecting 90% GOP turnout."
5:45 p.m., Attorney General Pam Bondi crowed: "Big lines at Fish Hawk, which houses one of the largest GOP precincts in the country."
6:55 p.m., former Gov. Jeb Bush chimed in: "Great numbers in Pasco and Volusia counties in fl for Romney. I predict he wins!"
When most state polls closed at 7 p.m. and early results started streaming in, the tweets from team Romney ceased almost entirely. The numbers pointed to another Florida photo finish: Barack Obama narrowly behind Romney in the onetime conservative stronghold of Duval County; the president comfortably leading in Hillsborough, the state's best bellwether; overall, Romney behind.
Florida is still counting votes, but in the end Obama probably will again win Florida, though his slim 237,000-vote margin in 2008 will be even slimmer, around 50,000 votes.
As exhausted campaign operatives on both sides are preparing to pack up and finally sleep, Republicans find themselves having to acknowledge at least one decisive factor: The hype about Obama's vaunted get-out-the-vote machine was on the mark.