Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Some Initial Thoughts on Florida

1) Too many old people. Also, that affected the primary. I over-estimated Ron Paul's numbers (by 2) and the lack of anyone who eats dinner after 4:30 PM really hurt Paul in Florida. Just 21% of voters were under the age of 45 and just 6% were under the age of 30.

2) Santorum under-performed among White Evangelicals. He got just 19%. I over-estimated Santorum's tally by 3.5 points and this would do it. Hey Rick, if you're getting 19% among White Evangelicals, the game is caught. Go home. Interestingly, this is where Gingrich and Santorum split the anti-Romney vote. Romney won a plurality among White Evangelicals with 38% to Gingrich's 37%.

3) To the moon Newton! I nailed Newt's share of the vote in my prediction. 32%. The media will call this a rout. I think that 1) when $16M is spent to make you look like a bad person and 2) you are, in fact, a bad person ... 32% really is kind of impressive. Gingrich did lose among conservatives overall (by 4) but, among the "very conservative," he won by 11. The "very conservative" made up a third of voters. They will be more in places like Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Are victories in those states the path to the nomination? Probably not. But Gingrich does have a constituency.

4) My biggest error was on Romney's share of the vote. I under-estimated his share by 5.5 points. Most of this was the result of Romney's strong showing among "somewhat conservative" voters.

5) Turnout was quite low. This is what happens when 92% of ads are negative in a primary. More on this tomorrow.


Jonathan Keller said...

Excellent post, Larry. Newt did pretty well, all things considered -- especially in the Panhandle.

The South, the cultural center of gravity of the Republican Party, still is repulsed by Willard's cult participation, I mean fast-talking Yankee ways. I just wonder where we'll be after he shellacks Newt in ME and NV. Lotta "southern road" on Super Tuesday, and the thing about that kind of road is, it waits, and does what it does when it's time arrives, without really caring how you rolled on those Yankee roads up north. They'll wait, and they won't change their ways just because some guys on TV w/ ties are telling them they're about to.

William D. Adler said...

Newt will hang on, I guess, but I wonder what his ultimate goal is here. Accumulate enough delegates to be a player at the convention? Hang on in the hopes that Mitt self-destructs before Super Tuesday?

Larry Becker said...

I think there's a couple things bouncing around in Gingrich's head. One is that he does hope Romney has some scandal or falls apart and, if he does, Gingrich would be the one guy in a position to pick up the pieces.

But more importantly, I think Gingrich is staying in because he just HATES Mitt Romney and wants to make Romney pay for what he did to him. I know that sounds a little Sopranos-esque ... but I think it is real.