Florida Live Blog – RantAWeek

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Florida Live Blog

19.37 Tyler Miksanek

And after complete results come in, we will post an in-depth article tomorrow evening that recaps Florida and explains what to expect in the coming weeks.

19.35 Matthew Dudak

With Romney winning Florida by a comfortable margin, he has regained his momentum. At this point in time, he seems very likely to win the nomination, and his chances against Obama seem strong. We hope you have enjoyed this live blog, and we hope to hold several more of these as the election season goes on. We will always post on the main page when we have one coming up, so please join us next time! As always, check back for more analysis from RantAWeek soon.

19.33 Julia

Angela- I completely agree. Another factor is how much blame Obama will take for the state of the economy because he is the current President.

19.33 Angela Yang

I agree that his popularity in November will rely heavily on the state of the economy.


19.32 Tyler Miksanek

Assuming that Romney can keep his 15% lead for the remainder of the evening, this will turn out to be a big win for him. South Carolina failed to give Gingrich a needed boost.

19.26 Julia

I think Obama might be able to win Flordia like he did in 2008 because he knows where to campaign and was popular among Latino voters.

19.25 Matthew Dudak

His chances seem much greater than those of any other candidates. His position as a social moderate(for the most part), and fiscal conservative sets him up to attract most Republicans for sure. Especially since he has been doing well amongst the more adamant conservatives who generally show up at the primaries, his chances are good. Add on top of that the fact that he will get the more moderate Republicans who have not turned out at primaries, he stands a very good chance. With that said, the deciding factor will likely be what Obama is able to do with the economy between now and November.

19.22 Tyler Miksanek

But I am thinking Romney vs. Obama, who wins Florida, and why? And Florida is crucial… since 1972, whoever has won Florida has won the White House.

19.21 Angela Yang

Whoever wins Florida will most likely be the nominee and Romney’s moderate tone will definitely help him if he ends up going against Obama.

19.15 Tyler Miksanek

So Paul could still be here for a while. Another question for the panel, what do you think of Romney’s prospects here in November? (Assuming he’s the nominee.)

19.15 Julia

Gingrich might still have a very small chance, but Santorum and Paul are inching their way along.

19.14 Matthew Dudak

Paul stayed in until June in ’08. This may actually indicate that Paul will likely stick around much longer. However, chances are, he will continue to fade.

19.12 Tyler Miksanek

How long did Paul stick around in ’08?

19.11 Matthew Dudak

Well Florida was most certainly not the nail-biter like Iowa that we started this race with. Gingrich still has a chance, but Romney’s consistency still bodes well for him. Meanwhile, it seems as if Santorum and Paul are mattering less and less and seem likely to drop out soon.

19.10 Angela Yang

After the loss in South Carolina and recent funds for Gingrich, Romney has been stepping up is game in Florida so his lead doesn’t surprise me.

19.08 Matthew Dudak

When looking at exit polls, they reveal that although Romney started falling behind with lower income groups, eventually he swept almost all voters across the board. The only exception were those who hold very conservative views. With most of those going to Gingrich, but Romney still getting more of them than Santorum.

19.07 Julia

Despite the tax return Romney still has the lead by 47.4%.

19.04 Tyler Miksanek

Romney is also doing very well among Latino voters. This could bode well for him in a general election.

19.02 Tyler Miksanek

Interesting. Still, the tax returns have not had as big of an effect as many originally thought.

18.58 Matthew Dudak

It also seems that Romney’s recent release of his tax return, which revealed a forty-five million dollar income over the past two years has turned many off in Florida. Most counties that have a median income under forty thousand have voted Gingrich. This income effect was not clear in Iowa or New Hampshire.

18.57 Tyler Miksanek

Over half of precincts reporting and Romney is still near 50% of the vote. I’m impressed: this is a strong showing for him.

18.55 Matthew Dudak

This is true, however, he realises what his candidacy as an Independent would do to the Republican party. It has happened time and again in history.

18.55 Angela Yang

With over 50% reported, Paul only has 7% of the vote.

18.54 Tyler Miksanek

MD- Just because a politician says something…

18.53 Matthew Dudak

No, considering the fact that he has come out and firmly stated he will not. However, before he said that, it seemed inevitable. I think he simply fears taking away votes from the Republican candidate. He feels he will not have enough momentum to do very well as an Independent, and would rather see a Republican in the White House than Obama.

18.53 Julia

Ron Paul will probably not run as an independent because it would look bad for his son, Rand Paul, who in the future wants to run for the Presidency as a Republican candidate.

18.50 Tyler Miksanek

Do you think he will enter as an Independent later this year?

18.49 Matthew Dudak

People are also getting tired of both parties and see Paul as someone that completely floats above party lines, despite running as a Republican. This position bodes well with many. Although it also turns many away.

18.47 Tyler Miksanek

I think Paul’s libertarian message has increased power with the recent deficit problems, not to mention the poor state of the economy at large.

18.45 Matthew Dudak

Ron Paul has surpassed his numbers in 2008, clearly he has much more momentum this year.

18.43 Julia

I wonder how many people voted for Colbert solely for the purpose of saying, “I voted for a comedian for the president of the USA.”

18.42 Tyler Miksanek

South Carolina was over a week ago though.

18.41 Matthew Dudak

On the other hand, South Carolina may not have had that large of an effect as over 3/4ths of voters have had their decision in mind for over several days.

18.41 Julia

Gingrich is still behind Romney, but it seems like he might be starting to catch up.

18.40 Tyler Miksanek

Hey, Colbert got Cain a few thousand votes in South Carolina. Maybe that ‘momentum’ carries over.

18.36 Matthew Dudak

Early voting is also very evident in the fact that Perry, Hunstman, Bachmann, Cain and even Gary Johnson still receiving votes.

18.34 Tyler Miksanek

Told you that early voting would give Romney an unfair boost. I wouldn’t expect him to keep a 50% share of the vote.

18.33 Matthew Dudak

Based on past performance, Paul will likely never drop out. However, Santorum seems likely to drop out soon, it is just a matter of time. His votes will likely almost exclusively go to Gingrich.

18.33 Angela Yang

Mr. Gingrich is slowly catching up!

18.31 Tyler Miksanek

Santorum and Paul are still having a huge effect on this race. Assuming that the majority of their support would go to the more conservative Gingrich, either one dropping out would help him out a lot. Paul doesn’t seem ready to drop out, but I’m wondering if Santorum may soon call it quits.

18.26 Tyler Miksanek

The counties that house Jacksonville and Tallahassee also have impressive populations.

18.26 Matthew Dudak

Miami-Dade is one of the most populated counties in Florida.

18.25 Matthew Dudak

To clarify, the amount of precincts reporting that I have posted about have come from CNN, but The New York Times shows considerably less reporting.

18.25 Angela Yang

Why is Miami-Dade so important?

18.20 Matthew Dudak

With 21% reporting. Romney is sitting with a fairly comfortable lead, about doubling Gingrich’s votes. However, it is important to note that important counties like Miami-Dade have not even begun reporting.

18.19 Tyler Miksanek

Yes, but Florida is a winner-take-all state delegate wise, meaning that smaller candidates like Santorum and Paul did not try to campaign heavily here.

18.18 Matthew Dudak

As an interesting note, since Florida was one of the many sates to move their primaries to before Feb 1st, they have been punished by the Republican National Committee and actual lost 49 of the 99 delegates that should have resulted from this primary.

18.14 Tyler Miksanek

It’s important to recognize that most of these early reports come from early voting. Much of this early voting was from before Newt won in South Carolina, meaning any momentum he receives from S.C. will not be factored in until later in the evening.

18.13 Matthew Dudak

I would say that Rubio stands a strong chance at being considered as either a running mate or a cabinet member too.

18.12 Tyler Miksanek

Definitely, Rubio is one of those new Republican leaders who we may see running in future presidential elections.

18.10 Matthew Dudak

And with 8% reporting, Romney jumps to the lead. Too soon to say anything yet.

18.07 Matthew Dudak

Interesting to factor into this primary will be the effect that Marco Rubio’s supporters will have on the results.-MD

18.04 Tyler Miksanek

Dinner… I don’t need dinner. Exit poll statistics are all I need. But in seriousness… things don’t look that cheery for Newt Gingrich right now. He had a lead in the polls following his solid win in South Carolina. However, that lead seemingly disappeared, but I guess tonight will prove his current standings. – TM

18.01 Matthew Dudak

Precincts should start reporting any minute!


17.21 Matthew Dudak

Welcome to the Florida Primary Live Blog! The action will begin at 7p.m. ET or 6p.m. CST, stay tuned!


  • On January 31, 2012 at 5:48 pm Adam Erickson said

    Eagerly awaiting the primary!


  • On January 31, 2012 at 6:06 pm Peter Dudak said

    NPR reported yesterday the Romney’s SuperPAC aired over 5000 ads in Florida. Newt’s was only about 300-400. We’ll see if money can buy Florida


  • On January 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm Peter Dudak said

    Rubio for running mate would depend on who won. He compliments Newt better than Mitt


    • On January 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm Tyler Miksanek said

      Also, Rubio could help either win the ever-crucial electoral state of Florida.


  • On April 19, 2012 at 1:14 am Jeffry Hocker said

    I think this web site holds some real great info for everyone : D.


    • On July 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm Martin said

      the PAC’s expenses – paid for by dooitanns from wealthy businessmen and lobbyists – were “unconventional,” at best and arguably not legal. Santorum also funded his large Leesburg “McMansion” with a $500,000 mortgage from a private bank run by a major campaign donor, in a program that was only supposed to be open to high-wealth investment clients in the trust, which Santorum was not, and closed to the general public.3. Santorum was never above mingling his cultural crusades with the everyday work of raising political cash. In 2005, Santorum made headlines – not all positive – for visiting the deathbed of Terri Schiavo, the woman at the center of a national right-to-die controversy.What my Philadelphia Daily News colleague John Baer later exposed was that the real reason he was in the Tampa, Fla., area was to collect money at a $250,000 fundraiser organized by executives of Outback Steakhouses, a company that shared Santorum’s passion for a low minimum wage for waitresses and other rank-and-file workers. Santorum’s efforts were also aided by his unusual mode of travel: Wal-Mart’s corporate jet. And he canceled a public meeting on Social Security reform out of respect for the Schiavo family even as the closed fundraisers went on.4. Santorum didn’t seem to be against government waste when it came to his family. During his years in the Senate, Santorum raised his family in northern Virginia and rarely if ever seemed to use the small house that he claimed as his legal residence, in a blue-collar Pittsburgh suburb called Penn Hills. So Pennsylvania voters were shocked when they found out the Penn Hills School District had paid out $72,000 for the home cyberschooling of five of Santorum’s kids, hundreds of miles away in a different state. The cash=strapped district was unsuccessful in its efforts to get any of its money back from Santorum.5. Washington’s lobbyist culture Santorum was soaking in it. The ex-Pennsylvania senator spent much of his final years in government trying to downplay and defend his involvement in the so-called K Street Project, an effort created by GOP uber-lobbyist and tax-cutting fanatic Grover Norquist and future felon and House majority whip Tom DeLay. By all accounts, Santorum was the Senate’s point man on the K Street Project and he met with Norquist at least occasionally and perhaps frequently to discuss the effort to sure that Republicans were landing well-paying jobs in lobbying firms that were seeking to then access and influence other Republicans.6. Santorum had no problem with big government if it was supporting his campaign contributors in Big Pharma.It’s little wonder that Santorum ultimately supported Medicare Part D, a prescription drug plan for the elderly that has added hundreds of billions of dollars to the federal deficit and was drafted in such a way to best help pharmaceutical companies maximize profits from all the unbridled spending. When Santorum was defeated for a third term in 2006, an internal memo at the drug giant GlaxoSmithKline said his departure from Washington creates a big hole that we need to fill.7. The defender of family values was also slavish in his devotion to a large American corporate behemoth, Wal-Mart: In the wake of the report about Santorum’s travel in the Wal-Mart corporate jet, I counted the many ways that Santorum had done the bidding of the world’s largest retailer in the Senate, including battling to limit any increases in the minimum wage and seeking to make changes in overtime rules that woulld benefit the company and hurt its blue-collar workforce, tort reform to limit lawsuits against what is said to be the world’s most-sued company, and changes in charitable giving laws and of course eliminating the estate tax that would benefit the billionaire heirs of Sam Walton.8. Santorum has frequently insisted that his political values are guided by his religious values, and that John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech describing a separtion between the two had done much harm in America. But despite inviting such scrutiny, there’s been little discussion of Santorum’s ties to ultra-conservative movements within the Roman Catholic Church Santorum’s comments about JFK were made in Rome in 2002 when he spoke at a 100th birthday event for Jose Maria Escrivade Balaguer, founder of the secretive group within the church known as Opus Dei. Although Santorum says he is not a member of Opus Dei which has been criticized by some for alleged cult-like qualities and ties to ultra-conservative regimes around the world he did receive written permission to attend the ultra-conservative St. Catherine of Siena Church in Great Falls, Va., where Mass is still conducted in Latin and a long-time priest and many parishioners are members of Opus Dei, mingling with political conservatives like Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and former FBI director Louis Freeh.9. Santorum isn’t above big government-funded boondoggles when they’re linked to his allies and campaign contributors. Consider the type of project that the Tea Party loves to hate, a $750 million energy plant in Schuylkill County, Pa., that was to convert coal to liquids but needed massive subsidies. Santorum boasted of his rule in securing an $100 million federal loan for the project which had hired Pennsylvania’s top Republican Party power broker of the 2000s, Bob Asher, as a lobbyist and paid him at least $900,000. Despite Santorum’s efforts, the plant has not been built.10. Santorum apparently believes in an entitlement culture when it comes for former politicians. After Tuesday night’s virtual tie in the Iowa caucus, the Pennsylvanian spoke eloquently about his immigrant grandfather working for decades in the Pennsylvania coal fields and his massive hands; the grandson probably won’t have that problem. Losing an election in 2006 allowed Santorum to become a poster child for how ex-pols quickly and easily cash in in America, as a lawyer-rainmaker and joining a think tank (that for a time was called America’s Enemies) and as an analyst for the Fox News Channel and as a board member for Universal Health Services, an ethically challenged company where executives had supported his Senate campaigns. The New York Times’ Gail Collins noted that Santorum had earned $970,000 in 2010 despite seeming sort of unemployed.The real Rick Santorum is indeed a frothy mixture of self-interest, loose ethical standards, and careerism in a career that’s been largely devoted not so much to the social causes about which he makes headlines as looking out for the interests of big corporations and the wealthiest 1 Percent of Americans. It’s a shame that more voters don’t know that yet. That is the Google problem that Santorum actually deserves.


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