Voters in Florida flocked to the polls yesterday to participate in the Florida primary election. With 29 electoral votes, 50 delegates up for grabs, and as host of the Republican National Convention in August, Florida's political significance is obvious. Despite its political significance, however, voter turnout yesterday was down 14% since 2008. Here are the final results of yesterday's primary election:
Mitt Romney: 46.4%, Newt Gingrich: 31.9%, Rick Santorum: 13.4%, Ron Paul: 7%, Other: 1.3%
On the campaign trail...
Newt Gingrich (Republican): Trailing Romney by 15%, Newt Gingrich continued to struggle to win over Republican women in Florida, a hurdle that the Washington Post suspects might have something to do with the demographic of women living in Florida. Unlike South Carolina, where Gingrich's success among women voters prompted his campaign to create a "Women for Newt" team, Florida is home to the highest percentage of citizens 65 and older. The Washington Post writes:
"The women there, in other words, are in the same age demographic as Jackie Battley Gingrich, now 75, who was unceremoniously dumped by her husband in favor of a new, more energetic replacement wife."
Barack Obama (Democrat): President Obama participated in his first Google+ "Hangout" on Monday, in which he answered questions from the public on the social media platform Google+. The event was webcasted, so viewers could see both Obama and the questions submitted via YouTube. The event received mixed reviews. Some viewers criticized the president for reverting back to talking points, not addressing the issues, and pre-screening the questions. The Atlantic Wire's Eric Randall, however, praised the event for being intimate. Randall's article cites social media expert Jon Mitchell, who thought the Hangout offered "back-and-forth between participants and the president." You can view the whole interview here.
Ron Paul (Republican): While Ron Paul only received 7% of the vote in Florida, he has been hard at work campaigning in the caucus states of Nevada, Maine, and Colorado. In other news, Ron Paul recently won the Tennessee straw poll by 63% and the Arizona Republican Party straw poll over the weekend with 256 votes. His supporters, while proud of his victory, are angry at the lack of media coverage Paul received for his straw poll victories and have been sending angry tweets referencing the incidence. Speaking of the power of Twitter, Kanjoya engineer Moritz Sudhof explains, "We're seeing that people who tweet about Ron Paul are more connected to each other than people who tweet about the other candidates--i.e., more retweets, more replies, and more mentioning of each other." The outburst of tweets can also be attributed to Paul's highly motivated fan base.
Buddy Roemer (Republican): There are no updates on candidate Buddy Roemer today. If you are interested in learning more about the former Louisiana Governor, you can visit his website.
Mitt Romney (Republican): The former Governor of Massachusetts swept yesterday's primary, receiving almost half of the vote. Florida exit polls indicate that Mitt Romney not only appealed to his normal base, but also reached out to gain the Hispanic vote and sympathy from Tea Party enthusiasts. He also appealed most to voters who identified the economy as the most important issue in the election. Because of Florida's winner-takes-all system, Romney will head west with 50 additional delegates, with a total of 87 delegates.
Rick Santorum (Republican): Rick Santorum did not spend last night in Florida; rather, he spent most of the day in Colorado and moved today to Nevada. Struggling to match the funds of former House Speaker Gingrich and former businessman Mitt Romney, Santorum is focusing his efforts on the low-cost caucus states. Speaking in Las Vegas of the rivalry between Romney and Gingrich, Santorum said, "Republicans can do better. We can do better than the discussion and the dialogue that were going on in the state of Florida and where this campaign went downhill." The Nevada and Maine caucuses begin this Saturday and continue until February 11.