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Romney Wins Florida, Election goes on Despite Establishment Wishes

Florida Primary Results - from AP/Google

While former Governor Mitt Romney sailed to victory in the Florida Primary with a comfortable 46% of the vote, he has a long way to go to secure the nomination. This has the “establishment” up in arms, as they are woefully too eager to close out this process, disenfranchise the people, and force their concept of electability on America.

A breakdown of the numbers shows great promise for Romney going forward. Certainly, the top line is enough for many; Romney beat Newt Gingrich (32%) by 14 points and nearly tripled former Senator Rick Santorum’s 13% showing. Digging deeper, Romney crushed with  those who make over $200,000 per year, those who make $100,000 to $200,000 and even scored with those who make under $50,000.

Romney turned around his fortunes with women, who he took in Florida by 22%. He also won the men by 5% over Gingrich. These are the kinds of numbers that bode well for a front runner, that put an election out of reach and allow the term “electability” to rise up without being ad hominem nonsense.

However, Romney the “electable,” at least in Florida, is not the same as Romney the inevitable. No matter how loudly the establishment will claim that Romney’s win in Florida means that he is the nominee, that hasn’t been established at all.

Romney’s victory in Florida was three fold – Gingrich’s poor debate performance in Jacksonville, overwhelming financial force and a flood of negative ads. On TV alone, Romney spent $15.4 million to Gingrich’s $3.4 million. Put another way, Romney had 65 TV ads for every one ad by Gingrich. Over all, Romney outspent Gingrich 15 to 1. As long as Romney is going up against a less financially infused candidate, all is well. But voters know that President Obama will raise a lot of cash, even if it is less than the purported $1 billion war chest. That also doesn’t include the free media Obama will get from mainstream media outlets.

Negative ads ruled Florida. 93% of all ads in Florida were negative ads. For Romney, it was important to come out on the offensive, to be able to show that he can attack and stand his ground. But the ads can have a boomerang effect. Negative ads leave a negative taste in the mouths of voters, and that might get felt in Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Michigan and beyond. For Romney, however, they worked…and worked well. Florida is a testament to the power of a well-constructed negative ad.

Yet, they only worked in the south of the state, which is, in actuality, the Northeast. In the panhandle to the North, where the actual “southerners” live, Newt Gingrich was the clear winner. With the population centered in the south, Romney’s calculation was correct. But the map makes one wonder how well a negative campaign will play in the rest of the nation.

Gingrich damaged his brand with his poor debate performance in Jacksonville. He seemed lost, without energy and simply dull. It was more than just his fiery jousting with Juan Williams and John King that handed him South Carolina, it was that he was right in both places. He took the absurdity, and the audacity, of the questions and turned them on their head – giving America a “Finally!” moment, where voters were able to see a candidate react to nonsense questions the way they would. Gingrich did not make use of these opportunities in Jacksonville. He let them sail by, and he let Romney seem more aggressive, and more presidential.

Gingrich also failed on many levels of campaigning. His ads, certainly negative, were also called into question for their validity. Most recently, his robo-call that as Governor of Massachusetts Romney cut off Kosher meals to nursing home residents who were Holocaust survivors. It was not only in bad taste, it was also not true. Romney was changing where the meals were made to reduce costs, not eliminating the meals all together.

However, no number is more important than the turnout statistics. Primary turn out in 2012 was less than that of 2008. Further 57% of Republicans are looking for a different choice. William Kristol of The Weekly Standard is already asking if we all shouldn’t be looking at Santorum as the answer. A look at the vote totals shows more people voted against Mitt Romney than voted for Mitt Romney. Romney votes – 775,015, Gingrich/Santorum/Paul votes –  873,011. But, as Ed Morrissey noted:

Even if one of them dropped out, though, that wouldn’t mean that the entire non-Romney vote would coalesce behind the survivor…PPP’s (Public Policy Polling) final Florida poll showed that Romney came in second in the second-choice category at 18%, with Rick Santorum in first at 26% and Gingrich slightly behind Romney at 17%, and 31% saying “someone else/not sure.”  It also assumes Paul’s voters would flock to either Gingrich or Santorum, which seems laughably speculative at best.  If Santorum had dropped out, Gingrich wouldn’t have won Florida, and the reverse is even more true

No, Romney would have won Florida either way. But his future depends on continued negative ads (which may not play in the rest of the nation) and massive amounts of money to push those ads. Romney took in $24 million in the last quarter. Obama raised $42 million last quarter. And, for all of Romney’s spending, he has only a 48 delegate lead over Gingrich. The race continues. The establishment waits.

Is Sen. Marco Rubio trying to end the GOP Race?

MArco_Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL,) the Tea Party favorite and well-respected first term Senator is trying to end the GOP race for president as it just starts in earnest. Rubio declared on CNN that:

The winner of Florida is in all likelihood going to be the nominee of our party

Former Governor Mitt Romney has been the front runner in Florida, outspending his main rival, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, by 15 to 1. Romney has also outspent Gingrich on TV, where Romney has spend $15.4 million to Gingrich’s $3.4 million. Yet, the latest polling from Insider Advantage has Gingrich closing the gap, with Romney at 36% and Gingrich at 31%. Public Policy Polling has Romney at 39%, Gingrich at 31%.

With ad spend advantages like that, but polling that only has Romney up by 8%, one wonders whether Rubio’s remarks have validity. If Romney wins Florida by 8%, can his supporters say that it’s a victory that will “run the table” on clinching the nomination?

Many Republicans have tried to make the case that only Romney is “electable,” and therefore the only possible competitor against President Obama in the fall. Rubio is now adding to this meme. Unfortunately, it is based on a myth. No one can properly predict who is and is not electable. One can only push forward the idea in hopes to convince others to stop backing their candidate. In this case, the conversation has led to the creation of two distinct camps; the “Establishment,” with former Senator Bob Dole, former President George H.W. Bush, Senator John McCain, Ann Coulter and Karl Rove, and the “Anti-Establishment,” with Mark Levin, former Governor Sarah Palin (kind of) and Herman Cain. (And how odd to see Newt Gingrich as the “anti-establishment” candidate, who spent 20 years as a member of Congress!)

What Rubio is saying is not based on fact, but based on a desire. With the latest polls out of Ohio and Missouri showing Romney well behind both Gingrich and former Senator Rick Santorum, perhaps Romney is a desire that the voters don’t really have.

 

Tony Katz Rejects the Premise that only Mitt Romney is Electable

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney

On his radio program, The Tony Katz Radio Show, Tony again rejected the premise that only Gov. Mitt Romney is electable:

What I can not accept, what I cannot just simply sit and abide, sit and listen to is this idea of the conventional wisdom. Allow me to be clear. Mitt Romney does not have the nomination sewn up.

Do Florida Republicans want Rep. Allen West out of office?

Support Col. Allen West for Congress!

In the war of words trying to define the concept of “Establishment GOP” in the Presidential contest, it’s the district of Rep. Allen West (R-FL) that is giving the best definition of the term; where Establishment GOP means, “Utterly indifferent to the concept of a better America, with strong tendencies towards self-gratification and otherwise resembling a hard-core leftist progressive.”

Florida’s key political blogger Javier Manjarres of Shark-Tank.net first brought up the story, which focuses around the redistricting of Florida due to the 2010 census. That redistricting leaves vulnerable the Florida 22nd, which is the district of Rep. West:

Much of the ire concerns the proposed boundaries of Congressman Allen West’s 22nd Congressional District that would be redrawn to include far more registered Democrats…West’s congressional district inexplicably sheds the most Republican electoral support, in comparison  to all other incumbent Republican and Democrat Congressman

Manjarres was far more direct in a piece in early January, where a high-ranking member of the Florida legislature is quoted as saying, “Allen West is screwed.”

One of those involved in the redistricting is State Rep. Wil Weatherford, who, after endorsing Gov. Charlie Crist over now-Senator Marco Rubio, and after endorsing Gov. Tim Pawlenty in the presidential race, is now endorsing – and working for – Gov. Mitt Romney. It was Weatherford who was working the spinroom for Romney after the Jacksonville debate. It is the same Weatherford who in a conversation with the Miami Herald said on the idea of oil exploration off the Florida coast:

Not interested. We’ve had the debate. Not interested

Weatherford, the State House Redistricting Chairman, said that it is newly adopted Amendments 5 and 6 in Florida that will make things rough on Rep. West. However, those amendments are highly specious, as they are based on the idea of the “intent” of the districting; that no district can be drawn with the “intent” of giving one political party or group a favored advantage or disadvantage. The “intent” can be seen by anyone, at anytime. Amendments like these only serve to keep lawyers in paychecks, and do nothing for the false concept of fairness.

Manjarres asks a pertinent question regarding the redistricting:

There is no love lost between the Florida legislature and Congressman Allen West, who has proven to be the anti-Republican establishment congressman…why would the Florida GOP legislature not protect one of the most respected and beloved congressman in Washington D.C.?  Could the reasons be as simple as sheer arrogance and self-political preservation by the Tallahassee elites?

West is loved by Conservatives and Tea Party members alike, especially with clear, direct statements about the need for personal responsibility and putting an end to the Nanny State:

It’s commentary like this that keeps West incredibly popular, and in the race (for a growing number) for Vice President. When so much of our political speech is predicated on not violating the rules of political correctness, West invariably speaks for the everyman who loves their country, wants to live free and is exhausted by the continual push to European socialism. West’s words are not taken as abrasive by the largest swath of Americans, but rather as refreshing.

West also knows that his words draw the ire of the Democrats, and they want nothing more than the psychological body blow of having him defeated in 2012. West seems undeterred. In the above speech, he states:

If that means I’m the number one target for the Democrat party, all I got to say one thing. Bring it on, baby.”

Weatherford’s redistricting plan has the intent of taking Rep. West out of the US House of Representatives. With taking on Democrats, and now his own party in Florida, perhaps West is in for a bigger fight than he originally thought.

TKRS – 1-27-12 – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) blasts Obama unconstitutional recess appointments, appalled by Newt Gingrich

Senator_Mike_Lee

Enjoy The Show!

Tony talks to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) about President Obama’s unconstitutional recess appointments. Sen. Lee reiterates his position to hold up other presidential appointments until Obama rescinds his appointment of Richard Cordray and others.

Then, the Vodka Pundit, Stephen Green, breaks down the 2012 field. The show ends as it does every Friday, with the Cigar of the Week, sponsored by Cigars In Review Magazine.

NOTE – Unfortunately, we lost a good three minutes of audio with Sen. Lee. It goes out about two minutes in, and comes back at 5:04. Feel free to just skip this segment, and hear Sen. Lee talk about how he will no longer give consent to Obama’s nominees.

Sen. Mike Lee “appalled” by Newt Gingrich, gives Anti-Endorsement

Senator_Mike_Lee

Tea Party favorite Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT,) appearing on The Tony Katz Radio Show, said that he was “appalled” by former Speaker Newt Gingrich, accused him of using class warfare and compared his tactics to that of President Barack Obama.

Asked by radio host Tony Katz whether he had a “horse in the race,” referring to a preferred candidate in the GOP field, Lee responded that he didn’t, but:

I think Mitt Romney was the winner of the debate (in Jacksonville,) and I think Newt Gingrich was the loser of the debate.

When asked if Gingrich can turn around his performance in the next five days, Lee stated:

He (Gingrich) has blossommed twice now, only to wither….I don’t think he comes back from this one.

When pressed by Katz about his seemingly obvious lean towards Romney, Lee opened up:

At this point…I haven’t endorsed anyone, but if there were such a thing as an anti-endorsement I’d be tempted to bring out an anti-endorsement against Newt Gingrich. I’ve been appalled with the fact that he has, in effect, attacked other candidates, particularly Mitt Romney, based on the fact that he’s a capitalist, based on the fact that he’s been successful. He tried to pit one group of Americans against another and become a divider, much like our President is doing. It almost has a class warfare feel to it. And that doesn’t sit well with conservatives, or Republicans in general, and I don’t think it is going to work.

Sen. Lee appeared on the show to discuss President Obama’s unconstitutional recess appointments, and his willingness to hold up other appointments until the situation is rectified.

Maddow isn’t recognizable on Jeapordy

Rachel_Maddow

The quiz show Jeapordy provided a very interesting look into modern day politics and political punditry when all three participants could not identify a photo of MSNBC news anchor Rachel Maddow.

Host Alex Trebek presented the “answer” to the panelists. A full headshot of Maddow was present on screen when Trebek stated:

This cable tv news woman received a doctorate in politics from Oxford.

OK, so it’s not earth shattering news. But it is interesting. In the political landscape, Maddow is a known figure, her politics leaning very hard left and her commentary not “news,” as Trebek put it, but rather Progressive talking points.

When three panelists are left silent as to who she is one wonders A) are people really that uninformed about the political scene or B) is anyone really watching MSNBC?

Perhaps that also is not fair. Perhaps people don’t pay attention to news, or to TV, or to anything not directly in their line of sight. So, here is a quiz to see where people are paying attention. Email your answers here:

This actor starred in Get Him To The Greek and the remake of Arthur, but no one knows why he is famous:

He hosts a cable news show on MSNBC, and most probably hates you:

He hosts one of the longest running reality shows on television:

How did you do? Check back for Quiz answers.

TKRS – 12/26/12 – Iran kills bloggers and Coleman sells out Romney

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney

Enjoy The Show!

Tony talks about the Iranian attack against bloggers, and the need for new media in America. Plus, breaking down the GOP debate in Jacksonville and how ugly will it get.

Tony Katz talks Gingrich, Romney and South Carolina on FOX and Friends

Dave_Briggs_Tony_Katz_FOX_Friends

Tony Katz, host of The Tony Katz Radio Show, spoke with FOX and Friends’ Dave Briggs while covering the primary in South Carolina. They talk about the effect of Marianne Gingrich’s claim on presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, why Gov. Mitt Romney is having trouble connecting and what to expect from the people of South Carolina.

Radio Host Tony Katz referees fight between Fred Thompson and John Sununu

Fred_Thompson_Tony_Katz_John_Sununu

Radio talk show host Tony Katz spoke with former presidential candidate Fred Thompson about his thoughts to change the electoral college. Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu interrupted the interview to disagree. More on this at TIRNation.com.