Romney had advantage over other candidates
It’s no secret that the politicians who have the most money invested in their campaign seem to be everywhere during election season. This is certainly true when it comes to Florida and Mitt Romney’s win in the Florida presidential primaries Tuesday night.
Romney was able to take advantage of television advertising in a way that wasn’t possible for the other candidates and an early primary set him up for the win. Campaigning in a state the size of Florida is expensive. According to the Huffington Post, Florida is the most expensive state in the Republican primary to date. So expensive, a Republican strategist told Channel 10 News that it costs $1 million dollars a day to campaign properly in Florida.
According to ABC News, Romney bought $5.6 million worth of airtime, and the pro-Romney super PAC, “Restore Our Future” has spent $8.2 million, compared to Newt Gingrich at $837,000 and the pro-Gingrich’s super PAC campaign, Winning Our Future, at nearly $3 million dollars.
In Hillsborough County, this appears to have served Romney well. According to the New York Times, the Tampa Bay area houses a quarter of the states’ Republicans. In Hillsborough County, 47.7 percent of voters voted Romney.
Though this tactic worked well for Romney in the Florida primaries, other candidates may be hoping to win the votes of less expensive caucus states.
It is also possible that Florida’s early primaries worked in Romney’s favor when it comes to his public persona. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, 31 percent of respondents nationwide hold a favorable view of Romney, a decrease since their last poll in September. Early elections allow a less likely chance that voters will change their opinion of a candidate since there is less time between debates and voting day. This also holds true for early voting. More than 600,000 voters in Florida voted early, including absentee ballots, according to CNN.
Romney was also helped by the voting patterns and demographics of Florida’s Republican voters. Candidate Ron Paul was up for the youth vote in Florida, according to the Huffington Post, but even winning that demographic was not enough to raise his 7 percent of the votes. The challenges for winning youth voters are well known: low voter registration rates, low turnout and the likelihood for the college demographic to vote
liberal. But one thing certainly hindered Paul’s chances in Florida when compared to Romney and even Gingrich: the lack of advertising.
Romney achieved a clear win when it came to Florida and its winner-take-all method of voting, but Florida is only 50 of more than a thousand delegates needed to win the Republican nomination for president. The question remains to be seen if the remaining 46 states will follow Florida’s lead.