Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Romney Plays the Florida Card...in Spades

Bookmark and Share

Romney makes more Sunshine State references in the NBC debate than Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum combined

mittromney11.jpgAfter seeing a double-digit advantage crumble in South Carolina inside of a week, Mitt Romney undoubtedly wants to put the results of Saturday's Palmetto State primary in the rear view mirror.

And so, on stage once again at the latest Republican debate Monday evening, the former Massachusetts governor made it clear on what state his campaign was now focused - like a laser.

A Smart Politics content analysis finds Mitt Romney mentioned Florida 13 times during the NBC / Tampa Bay Times / National Journal GOP presidential debate, while Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul mentioned the state just nine times collectively.

If Romney's Florida-centric rhetoric seems like an overt play for votes, consider this: prior to Monday night's debate, the Sunshine State had been mentioned just three times across the last 17 debates by the entire field - two of which were held in Florida.

The Republican candidates treated the previous Florida debates, held in mid-September of last year, more to position themselves as they jockeyed for position nationally.

However, the Monday gathering in Tampa Bay was all about winning over Florida voters in advance of its January 31st primary - at least for Romney.

Romney managed to squeeze explicit Florida references into a variety of policy areas, such as the Freddie Mac housing crisis (multiple times), unemployment and underemployment, the space program, as well when delivering general attacks against President Obama:

"This president came into office saying he'd turn this economy around and everything he has done has made it harder for the people of Florida." - Mitt Romney

After Romney's 13 Florida mentions came Rick Santorum with six, Ron Paul with two, and Newt Gingrich with one.

In addition, candidates made references to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, the 'space coast,' Miami Dade County, Sarasota, and the host city of Tampa.

As for the cadence of the debate, the first half was largely defined by heated exchanges between frontrunners Romney and Gingrich.

Overall, although he was one of four candidates on the stage, Romney received one-third of the speaking time.

Romney clocked in at 21 minutes and 43 seconds, or 33.3 percent of the total candidate face time.

Romney was followed by Newt Gingrich at 19 minutes and 32 seconds (29.9 percent), Rick Santorum at 13:59 (21.4 percent), and Ron Paul at just 10:04 (15.4 percent).

Total Speaking Time During the NBC Florida GOP Presidential Debate

Candidate
Time
Percent
Mitt Romney
21 min. 43 sec.
33.3
Newt Gingrich
19 min. 32 sec.
29.9
Rick Santorum
13 min. 59 sec.
21.4
Ron Paul
10 min. 04 sec.
15.4
Data compiled by Smart Politics.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Number of Presidential Candidates Tops 330 and Counting
Next post: "My Message is Simple": Obama's SOTU Written at 8th Grade Level for Third Straight Year

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Kevin McCarthy Becomes Least Tenured Floor Leader in US House History

At less than four terms, McCarthy has served 423 fewer days in the chamber than any floor leader in U.S. House history and almost 10 years less than the average leader.

Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting