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January 22, 2012

Why Florida Could Be Tough for Romney

Mitt Romney has two advantages as the Florida primary approaches on January 31: money and early voting. Romney and an aligned Super PAC have spent more than $7 million of airtime already in the state and nearly 200,000 Republicans have already cast their votes.

But Politico notes Newt Gingrich heads into Florida "emboldened by two assets that will test Romney's organization and money there: the momentum from a double-digit victory and a conservative base that appears to be coalescing. But the results here revealed Romney's weakness as much as they hinted at Gingrich's potential. The establishment favorite didn't just lose South Carolina - he got thrashed,"

First Read adds that the GOP electorate in Florida "has the potential to be unkind to Romney. Think South Carolina but with Cuban Americans in Miami thrown into the mix. According to the 2008 exit polls, 61% of Florida Republican primary voters considered themselves conservative (68% said they were conservative in South Carolina last night). And remember: Florida's primary is closed, meaning that independents don't get to vote. After all, it's the same electorate that picked Rick Scott in 2010 over establishment favorite Bill McCollum."

Adam Smith: "As important as money, television advertising and organization are here, momentum tends to trump everything else in widely watched presidential campaigns. Romney easily outspent and out-organized John McCain in Florida in 2008 and still lost."


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