Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

RPOF: McCain's TV spending cost Fla.



UPDATE: The RPOF says the memo was simply an analysis of the facts. "We are in no way blaming the McCain campaign. Your assessment of the memo is flat-out wrong,'' said spokeswoman Katie Gordon.


UPDATE II: Chairman Jim Greer echoed the point: "The Republican Party of Florida does not in any way blame the McCain campaign. There's no hostility or blame to be put on anyone." And given the political environment and Democratic financial advantage, "I'm very proud of what happened in Florida" overall.

The internal Florida GOP talking points memo sent to Republicans in case of media calls suggests they did everything they could to carry Florida for McCain-Palin, but the national campaign blew it on TV spending:

"On the presidential level, we just didn't have the resources -- this is a case study of the national campaign making the decision early on that Florida was a safe bet and they could do it on the cheap. Well, it wasn't and they couldn't.

Here's the full memo.

Wanted to be sure everyone had the most up-to-date talking points on the election results in case reporters call you. We are backgrounding them now with the points below. Thanks again for all of your help.



There is no question that with 10 different media markets, including some of the biggest in the nation, Florida is a TV state.
·       No matter how strong a candidate is, getting up on TV is not only important, it is essential.
·       Senator McCain was outspent 5 to 1 on TV, yet because of strength of the ground game, we came within 2½ points.
·       On the presidential level, we just didn?t have the resources?. This is a case study of the national campaign making the decision early on that Florida was a safe bet and they could do it on the cheap. Well, it wasn?t and they couldn?t.
·       And yet, the Obama coattails were short, and Democrats weren?t able to ride them nearly as far as they would have liked or should have been able to.
·       This bodes very well for the future of the GOP in Florida. 
·       Across the board, if you look at where Republicans ran well-funded, active campaigns, we won. In contrast, the Democrats weren't able to peel away House and Senate seats in the best possible environment they have ever seen, even with the strongest ground game they have ever had.
·       We have a lot of success stories from last night, and I think as this thing gets analyzed, folks will look at Florida and ask what we did differently.
·       Political insiders have said for weeks that having Obama on the ticket would create down ticket problems for the GOP.
·       First of all, turnout wasn?t as high as expected, coming in at 72.4 percent ? less than in 2004.
·       If you look at Congressional races, State House and Senate, and Constitutional Amendments, Florida Republicans had a good night. 
·       Congressmen Gus Bilirakis and Bill Young both got 60+% in Tampa, ? an area Obama carried.
·       In Miami, another area Obama carried,? Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart both fended off credible, well-funded, DCCC-backed candidates 
·       Orlando was ground zero for the Obama Campaign, we lost the Keller seat in an area where the top of the ticket effect had the most impact and where we have been outspent 5-1 on TV since June. (Off the record, Kelle barely won his primary ?that should tell you something. Look for Republicans to reclaim this seat easily in 2 years with a stronger candidate like Dan Webster.)
·       We picked up the Tim Mahoney seat and Tom Rooney will do a great job in Congress. 
·       The State House and Senate will remain relatively the same. The make-up of the Florida Senate will remain exactly same.
·       Even with the best possible environment, in a watershed year in which the Florida Democrats befitted from the best ground game they have EVER had in Florida, they still weren't able to peel away House and Senate seats.
·       FL Democrats didn?t defeat one Republican incumbent. Republicans will lose only one seat in the Florida House, after having regaining Tony Sasso?s seat in HD 32.
·       Adam Hasner and Ellyn Bogdanoff were re-elected in seats that were at one point thought to be vulnerable.
·       Peter Boulware and Liz Porter are each within the margin of a recount in heavily Democratic areas.
·       Belinda Ortiz was in reach of Gary Siplin in a district where less than 20 percent of voters are registered Republican.
·       Carl Domino and Peter Nehr also held off their opponents in close races.
·       Lamberti will win the Broward County sheriff?'s race. In a record Democrat year, Lamberti will more than likely be sworn in as the first Republican to win his or her first election countywide in Broward County since 1968. 
The 2008 election results are not simply not indicative of a huge change in the electorate in Florida.
·       Floridians voted to maintain overwhelming majorities in the State House and Senate. They voted strongly to cut taxes, voted to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and they opposed tax increases for community colleges. This demonstrates that at the core, Florida is still a red state where conservative values and principles are important to voters.


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:45pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours