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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Welcome to Fla, Mr. President. Good luck winning those 29 electoral votes



The presidential polls in Florida have been stable for months, showing a neck and neck race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The average of recent polls compiled by RealClearPolitics shows the president leading by less than half a percentage point. This is Florida, so no one should be surprised.

In the last five presidential races, Democrats have won Florida twice, Republicans have won twice, and in 2000 they essentially tied. Floridans have cast more than 32.5-million presidential votes since 1992, and only 57,000 votes separated the two major parties. That's also less than half a percentage point. 

"Florida's always a close state and we don't expect that to change between now and November," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said on and conference call Wednesday.

Still, recent polls have shown Florida voters seriously skeptical about Obama's performance, his handling of the economy, and his health care reform. Republicans appear poised to at least match Democrats in campaign spending in Florida this year - a huge change from 2008 - and they are building a formidable ground game in Florida, after McCain did little of that four years ago.

Senior Romney adviser Brett Doster makes the case for Obama's Sunshine State challenges in a memo today:

Since June 1, President Obama or a major campaign surrogate (including the Vice President and First Lady) have held more than 20 events in Florida. They’ve taken air boat tours of the Everglades, attended ritzy fundraisers with pop music stars, held college campus campaign rallies and given commencement addresses.

Meanwhile, the Obama For America campaign has plunged more than $17 million into television ads in Florida, blanketing the airwaves with negative and misleading ads. In Orlando alone, President Obama and his liberal allies spent nearly $5 million dollars on more than 4,000 mostly negative ads in just May and June.

Despite the time, money, and effort being expended by the Obama Campaign, President Obama and his policies remain unpopular, and he has not seen any movement in re‐election polls.

The full memo is attached.


[Last modified: Thursday, July 19, 2012 11:57am]


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