Live blog of the Florida primary
Mitt Romney stands with his sons as they watch early election returns on CNN before attendinng their Florida primary night party January 31, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.
January 31st, 2012
04:03 PM ET
2 years ago

Live blog of the Florida primary

(CNN) - Florida voters headed to the polls Tuesday and delivered former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a decisive victory one month and three contests into the 2012 GOP primary election. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich came in second place, followed by former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

Read all the details and CNN reporting from primary night below and see all the results at CNNPolitics.com. Follow us on Twitter at #cnnelections or @PoliticalTicker. Read more here.

11:00 p.m. ET @crowleyCNN: What remains twitpic.com/8e7gcb

10:58 p.m. ET - Former presidential candidate Herman Cain, now a Gingrich supporter, said the voters in Florida delivered a "double digit shellacking" to the former House speaker, but added that the 2012 primary race is a "long way from over."

10:45 p.m. ET - @PeterHambyCNN: Some truck ops (not ours) outside Romney event already griping about looming Secret Service protection. Security sweeps!

10:43 p.m. ET - @MeganGrantCNN: Gingrich daughters to Piers: "We knew this wasn't our state or our time or place." #CNNElections


10:32 p.m. ET
@DanaBashCNN: Santorum still at nevada hq schmoozing w supporters #cnnelections pic.twitter.com/MrgO2sDD

10:30 p.m. ET
- Appearing on CNN, Ralph Reed, president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said Romney's win in Florida is "very impressive," especially his lead among Evangelical, Catholic and Latino voters.

10:24 p.m. ET
@deirdrewalshcnn: Santorum on CNN says speech tomorrow contrasting Romneycare and obamacare will draw issue contrasts unlike Gingrich focusing on attacks

10:23 p.m. ET - Appearing live on CNN, Santorum differentiated himself from the other candidates in the race by stressing his discipline and pointing to his scheduled address Wednesday on health care.

10:17 p.m. ET - CNN Political Analyst Ronald Brownstein: "Mitt Romney expanded his following among key center-hugging groups while narrowing rival Newt Gingrich's appeal among populist Republican voters." Read more here.

10:11 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN reports: A federal law enforcement source tells CNN that Romney will receive Secret Service Protection "within days."

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

10:08 p.m. ET - Appearing live on CNN, Paul said his campaign is more likely to be successful in caucus states than primary states.

"It is easier for is to compete. You need energy, you need hard workers and people dedicated," Paul said of campaigning in caucus states. "They need to believe in something, and then you can compensate for not having $30 or $50 million to compete in a state like Florida."

10:02 p.m. ET
- @donnabrazile: Economy on the mend, jobs are slowly coming back. That is good news unless you're a GOP presidential candidate.

9:56 p.m. ET - With 94% of precincts reporting, Romney received 46% of the vote, followed by Gingrich with 32%, Santorum with 13% and Paul with 7%.

9:52 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: Even if @MittRomney runs the board in Feb, still far cry from 1144 delegates needed. #cnnelections yfrog.com/oeai1uij

9:44 p.m. ET @jimacostacnn: Asked if the no call is a sign that this race has gotten personal, Gingrich spokesman RC Hammond says it's a sign the race goes on.

9:41 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Paul &Santorum called Mitt 2 congratulate. Gingrich did not. ( says romney source) I think newt might be upset.

9:40 p.m. ET
- @donnabrazile: Newt isn't afraid to play the bad guy. Okay, he isn't able to play anything BUT the bad guy. Gingrich goes Rogue tonight! Agree?

9:38 p.m. ET - @alexcast: i think ron paul would like us to join his organization of anarchists. if we could have one.

9:37 p.m. ET
- @mjaconicnn: Interesting that Ron Paul, who would be the oldest president in history is only getting 3% of FL voters over 65. #CNNElections

9:30 p.m. ET
– At a rally in Henderson, Nevada, Paul told supporters he called Romney to congratulate him on his Florida win and tell him he's looking forward to the caucus states.

9:29 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: On to feb, or as @newtgingrich says #46statestogo. But next month is advantage @MittRomney #cnn yfrog.com/kjtg1trj

9:26 p.m. ET
@crowleyCNN: No Saul Alinsky mention from Newt? I feel vaguely let down. PS He will soldier on–(Newt not Saul Alinsky, who is departed)

9:24 p.m. ET - @donlemoncnn: Newt quote: "i pledge to you my life, my fortune and my sacred honor." What the?!! Is he asking us to marry him? #CNNelections

9:22 p.m. ET
- @alexcast: newt speech is good news for romney. he won't have to go one-on-one w/ santorum, who has higher favorables and the base. #cnnelections

9:21 p.m. ET - @YellinCNN: Exit polling shows Romney winning 54% of Fl latino vote. That's up from 14% in Fl 2008. Should that be worrisome for Team Obama?

9:20 p.m. ET - @deirdrewalshcnn: Santorum mtg with supporters at his NV campaign office: opened 4 days ago yfrog.com/hsk0nymj

9:19 p.m. ET - Gingrich told supporters he will not sing, like Obama did last week, because he's "not running for entertainer-in-chief, I'm running for president."

"You can't sing your way past the disaster of your presidency," Gingrich said in Orlando.

9:17 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: CONTRACT for AMERICA 2012 – two parts: It's conditional. part 1, says Gingrich, is conditional on country electing GOP House and Senate.

9:16 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: NEWT: in the next few days, we'll develop the equivalent of the Contract from 1994, only it will be personal. Oh, and it's two parts.

9:15 p.m. ET
- @PaulBegala: Newt calls for "people-powered campaign." Because, you know, the people all have $1M lines of credit at Tiffany's. #CNNelections

9:13 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: Newt is tired.

9:12 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: A 15-point loss & @newtgingrich attacks @MittRomney, vows he will b the nominee. #46statestogo #cnn yfrog.com/mmxx8tj

9:11 p.m. ET - @PaulBegala: Newt vows to fight all the way to convention in August. Crowd cheers a little. I cheer a lot. #CNNelections

9:10 p.m. ET - Gingrich said the Florida results prove this will be a "two person race" until he wins the GOP nomination.

"We are going to contest every place and we are going to win," Gingrich said at his Florida campaign headquarters in Orlando. "We will in Tampa as the nominee in August."

9:04 p.m. ET - @PeterHambyCNN: the main reason Newt and Santorum head to Nevada: TV cameras are there. But it's a Romney/Ron Paul state by a mile.

9:03 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: V distant 3rd in #flprimary, sen santorum fights on in nevada. #cnnelections yfrog.com/es6hbjej

9:00 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Good news for rick santorum: he just told me live on cnn his daughter bella is getting out of hospital tomorrow #cnnelections

8:55 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: Without FL's totals, GOP turnout total turnout so far in 2012 is up 21.9% compared to 2008. That's a good sign...

8:50 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: Romney speech competent, not compelling. Has work to do to create foot soldiers as dedicated to him as to beating Obama. #CNNElections

8:52 p.m. ET
- Santorum told @DanaBashCNN that the results in Florida prove Gingrich "had his shot our of South Carolina and couldn't hold it." He said voters are now looking for a "different conservative as an alternative to Romney."

In interview at his campaign headquarters in Las Vegas, the former Pennsylvania senator also touted his recent fundraising numbers, including $200,000 he said his campaign raised Tuesday.

8:48 p.m. ET - @YellinCNN: The President did not watch that speech by Gov Romney. He's at a fundraiser in Maryland.

8:43 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Mitt says he wants country where hope is new job not a faded word on an old bumper sticker.

8:42 p.m. ET - Reacting to the Florida election results, Santorum said he's "not surprised."

"We decided obviously that that was a – that's a death match that I didn't want to get involved in, the resources you had to spend to compete there," Santorum said in Las Veags Tuesday. "We decided that this was going to be a long campaign and we were going to get out and run a campaign across this country."

8:40 p.m. ET - @alexcast: "without raising taxes i will balance the budget." – Romney. that's a big promise, equal to "read my lips."

8:39 p.m. ET - Romney briefly dings his rivals on their economic plans, saying he knows how to turn the economy around "unlike the other people running for president," before returning his jabs to the president.

8:35 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Gracious Mitt shows up. Gives nod to opponents says Fractious primaries "don't divide us, they prepare us"

8:32 p.m. ET - Addressing his supporters at his headquarters in Tampa, Florida, Romney said a competitive primary "does not divide us, it prepares us and we will win."

8:31 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Mitt will go after POTUS 2nite. Will return to Newt on campaign trail if needs be. Like grandma says there's a time and place 4 everything

8:31 p.m. ET - @SamFeistCNN: Mitt Romney watching election returns on #CNN. Good choice. Via @Ryangop. #CNNElections. yfrog.com/h2w0wzzj

8:25 p.m. ET - @sinderbrandcnn: Romney won voting blocs Tuesday he's often struggled to capture so far this year - groups like men, young voters and the middle class. Voters cited him as the candidate most likely to understand average Americans' problems.

Although he pulled a respectable 33% among voters who strongly support the tea party, according to early exit polls, that showing pales in comparison to the 46% captured by Newt Gingrich. The 7% of voters whose most important issue this year was abortion overwhelmingly backed Gingrich over Romney, 44% to 24%. So did voters looking for a true conservative: they picked Gingrich over Romney by a greater than 4-to-1 margin.

In other words: the exit polls suggest the party's most conservative voters still haven't warned to Romney just yet. But there are signs of movement: voters who believe abortion should be illegal backed both men in equal numbers. Evangelicals gave a slight 3-point edge to Gingrich - but Romney nearly closed that massive gap. And in the Panhandle - the state's most conservative region - the two men are neck-and-neck at 38%.

8:24 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: I wonder if Newt will give another attack concession speech...

8:23 p.m. ET
- @crowleyCNN: Parlor game: does MR who has had a pretty solid victory come out and blast POTUS? Or keep pounding Newt.mitt we told 1 minute from speech

8:23 p.m. ET - Gingrich took to Twitter Tuesday to encourage supporters to donate to his campaign "money bomb" to "help us defeat Obamneycare," a jab at rival Romney and President Obama.

8:20 p.m. ET
– Sixty-two percent of voters said the economy is the most important issue in the 2012 election, followed by the budget deficit at 24%, abortion at 7% and illegal immigration at 3%, according to CNN exit polling,

8:17 p.m. ET @jimacostacnn: Crowd starting to fill in at Gingrich HQ. For a while there the place was almost empty. #flprimary

8:15 p.m. ET @JohnKingCNN: This is @MittRomney margin among non evangelicals in #flprimary #cnnelections yfrog.com/es5iymyj

8:13 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Cheek to jowl in here and it's freaking hot. Paging Mitt Romney twitpic.com/8e5t3d

8:10 p.m. ET - Santorum, appearing in Las Veags Tuesday, announced he will deliver a big speech on the similarities between "Romneycare" and "Obamacare" Wednesday.

8:09 p.m. ET @EWErickson: Gingrich and Romney split evangelicals statewide. I'm interested in the evangelical split in the panhandle.

8:08 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: FL EXIT POLLS – Romney sweeps: He won all age groups, all income groups, all education groups (HS, college, postgrad, etc.)

8:07 p.m. ET
- @AriFleischer: Newt tied Romney in No. FL/panhandle, 38-38. Romney still has a southern state problem.

8:06 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: Exit polls show HUGE gender gap. Romn wins men 41-36. Romn wins women 51-29.

8:04 p.m. ET - According to CNN exit polling, Romney received 46% support followed by Gingrich's 32%, Santorum's 12% and Paul's 8%.

8:02 p.m. ET - The projected Romney wins means he will receive the 50 delegates at stake in the state, bringing his total delegates to 84, followed by 27 delegates for Gingrich, 10 for Paul and 8 for Santorum.

8:00 p.m. ET – Mitt Romney won the Florida primary, CNN projects based on exit polls and votes cast Tuesday.


7:58 p.m. ET
- @ErinBurnett: Another amazing #: #democrat #superpacs spent $2.28M on BROADCAST ads alone against #republican candidates in #florida primary #cnnelections

7:55 p.m. ET
@stevebruskCNN: Where to next? Gingrich goes to Reno overnight. Romney does AM interviews, then heads to Minnesota and later Las Vegas Wednesday. Ron Paul spends tomorrow (his 55th wedding anniversary) in Nevada, Rick Santorum holds events in Colorado after leaving NV late tonight.

7:54 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: Ann Romney one of campaign's best assets - not only empathic but makes the argument for Mitt better than anyone else. #cnnelections

7:53 p.m. ET
@jimacostacnn: Adios Florida: Team Newt not spending the night in the state. On to Nevada later tonight. #flprimary

7:47 p.m. ET - Ann Romney, talking to @crowleyCNN, predicted her husband will win the Florida primary. She also said the negative tone of the campaign is "always unfortunate" and that she finds the name calling directed toward her husband "numerous" because she "knows where his values are." "What's next, a communist?" she jokingly asked.

7:31 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: Emails from the Ron Paul campaign all focus on Nevada tonight.

7:30 p.m. ET - With 41% of precincts reporting, Romney leads with 50% support followed by 30% for Gingrich, 12% for Santorum and 7% for Paul.

7:21 p.m. ET
- @JohnKingCNN: W/ 21% #flprimary counted, romney beating 3 rivals combined. #cnnelections yfrog.com/ody9xjhj

7:20 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: Breakdown of #flprimary electorate by income. #cnnelections yfrog.com/ockc2mdj

7:19 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Team Gingrich putting up a sign that says 46 states to go!

7:18 p.m. ET - @PaulBegala: #CNNelections Exit poll: 39% of FL GOP unhappy with field; 53% of Gingrich voters unhappy if Romney nominee. Bile, bitterness & bad blood.

7:17 p.m. ET
- @jimacostacnn: In SC, it was the theme from Rocky. Now it's "Don't you want me baby?" from the Human League. #DJNewt

7:15 p.m. ET
- @alexcast: If Romney wins FL big, next week is critical. he'll have the megaphone for a few days. needs to do and say something big. #cnnelections

7:14 p.m. ET - @sinderbrandcnn: According to CMAG/Kantar Media, which tracks political ad spending, the spots flooding Florida's airwaves since last Monday have been overwhelmingly negative. And Newt Gingrich was by far the top target: more than two-thirds of the political ads that aired in the past week were anti-Gingrich spots, while just under 1 in 4 were anti-Romney. However, almost 1 in 10 of the past week's ads were pro-Gingrich spots - while just 0.1% were pro-Romney. As in, one-tenth of a single percentage point.

But here's the thing: ads were a lot less decisive in this race than they were in South Carolina. Two-thirds of the voters there said they were an important part of that decision. Here in Florida, just 39% said campaign spots were important to their vote; 58% said they weren't.

7:12 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: Early, early voting shows Romney beating Newt & Santorum together. Keep your eye there. If that holds, big for Mitt. #CNNElections

7:11 p.m. ET - With 8% of precincts reporting, Romney leads with 52% followed by Gingrich with 25%, Santorum with 12% and Paul with 8%.

7:04 p.m. ET
- @AriFleischer: I'm also looking to see if there is a gender gap. Newt very well may have big problems with female voters.

7:03 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: I'm watching how Romn does in No.Florida/panhandle. If Ging is close there, it's a sign of how GA, AL & MS may vote in March

7:01 p.m. ET
@PaulBegala: Lesson from FL is from the @LyleLovett song: "No finance, no romance. It's M-O-N-E-Y." Team Romney = $15M; Team Newt $3M #CNNelections

6:55 p.m. ET - Most polls in Florida close at 7 p.m. ET. However, a handful of counties in the Panhandle, in the northwestern corner of the state, are in the Central Time Zone, so polls there close 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local time).

6:50 p.m. ET - Fifty-seven percent of Tuesday's voters were satisfied with the current GOP field compared to 39% that were not, according to CNN exit polling.

6:47 p.m. ET @sinderbrandcnn: A week-and-a-half ago, two-thirds of South Carolina's GOP primary voters said debates helped decide their vote; back then, Gingrich lapped Romney among those voters by a 2-to-1 margin. And once again Tuesday, in early exit polls, two-thirds of Florida’s Republican primary voters said debates were an important factor in deciding their vote.

So could the candidate who dominated the debate stage in Florida expect the same sort of result here? The answer's not quite that simple: one x-factor in Florida is the fact that thousands of the state's voters cast ballots before the candidates faced off there this month. In other words, when voters point to debate performance, they're not necessarily talking about last week's face-offs; a big chunk of the electorate could have based their votes on nationally-televised debates from earlier-voting states like South Carolina.

6:45 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: How Camp Mitt views post Fla: more $ than Newt, on ballot everywhere (newt not in Va./Mo.)"unmatched"turnout op. Caucus states "uphill"

6:41 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Location location location. Santorum Nevada hq next to Vegas girl popcorn. Only opened 3 days ago pic.twitter.com/NkYnGpdY

6:40 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: If they win big tonite, Romney forces will want to close down this campaign.Some want to reduce or end debates. Good or bad idea?

6:38 p.m. ET - @SamFeistCNN: The open to tonight's #CNNElections coverage: on.cnn.com/Az9aSw. Pretty much sums it all up.

6:37 p.m. ET - A solid majority, 61%, of GOP primary voters in 2008 were self-identified conservatives. Romney beat McCain among them, 37% to 29%.

6:29 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: Economy by far most important to #flprimary voters 2day. #cnnelections yfrog.com/h6itjcwj

6:28 p.m. ET @jimacostacnn: Is anybody gonna drop out tonight? Classic @alexcast "Maybe the voters will give up." #flprimary

6:22 p.m. ET @alexcast: always last ad in losing gop campaign MT @EWErickson: Strangest: Newt Super PAC's big ad campaign has been hitting Romney on abortion.

6:16 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Based on the music in Gingrich HQ, the campaign is going clubbing later. #flprimary

6:12 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: Strangest bit of the FL GOP Primary: The Newt Super PAC's big ad campaign has been hitting Romney on abortion.

6:11 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Think the Romney folks ( motto:Believe in America ) are feeling good? This on sale at hdqters twitpic.com/8e4n2e

6:10 p.m. ET - Eighty-two percent of voters Tuesday identified themselves as white and 15% identified themselves as Latino, according to CNN exit polling. Those identifying themselves as black and Asian represented 1% respectively.

6:08 p.m. ET - @donnabrazile: Romney outspent Newt almost 5 or 4 to 1. Did they negative ads work? Sure... But will it help Romney?

6:05 p.m. ET - Fifty percent of voters Tuesday said the debates were an important factor in their vote, according to CNN exit polling. Seventeen percent said they were the most important factor.

What is the most important quality fora candidate? Forty-five percent of those questioned said it was their ability to defeat President Barack Obama, 13% said it was whether the candidate is a true conservative, 17% said it was their strong moral character and 20% said it was whether they had the right experience, according to CNN exit polling.

5:57 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: Won't be long now til #magicwall begins to fill in w/ #flprimary results. #cnnelections. yfrog.com/eskwopmj

5:54 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: FL – COUNTY TO WATCH: Political expert Susan McManus tells me the best bellwether is Tampa's Hillsborough County. #CNNElections

5:40 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: FL EXIT POLLS – evangelical?: 39% said yes, 61% no.

5:39 p.m. ET – Fifty-two percent of those who voted Tuesday were men and 48% were women, according to CNN exit poll results. Thirty-four percent said they considered themselves very conservative, 37% identified themselves as somewhat conservative and 30% as moderate or liberal.

5:33 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Kantar CMAG breakdown of political ads in FL: Anti-Gingrich: 68% Anti-Romney: 23% Pro-Gingrich: 9% and Pro-Romney: less than 0.1%

4:59 p.m. ET - @alexcast: Both Romney and Obama sang this week. Romney needs the Presidency more than Obama. O can croon.

4:55 p.m. ET - While voting continues in Florida, Santorum released an ad in Nevada and Colorado Tuesday that criticizes rival Newt Gingrich by comparing his past stances to those of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama.

4:25 p.m. ET - In 2008, Sen. John McCain beat then-rival Mitt Romney in the Florida GOP primary, 36% to 31%. Rudy Giuliani received 14.7%, followed by Mike Huckabee with 13.5% and Ron Paul with 3.2%. McCain went on to capture the GOP nomination but lost Florida to Barack Obama in the 2008 general election, 51% to 48%.

4:21 p.m. ET @EWErickson: South Beach. I'll be here live till 1am for CNN. instagr.am/p/mnPti/

4:08 p.m. ET - @donnabrazile: What's on your afternoon menu? Light fare in preparation for the Florida primary results. Stay tuned to #CNN for breaking political news.

4:02 p.m. ET @crowleyCNN: Have truck will broadcast (Outside Mitt election night venue) twitpic.com/8e3dxv

3:34 p.m. ET - @deirdrewalshcnn: Santorum NV HQ – conveniently located next to a popcorn store in shopping center in Las Vegas yfrog.com/h3k7wtaj

3:30 p.m. ET
– - The Hispanic vote makes up 11.1% of registered voters in the Sunshine State, according to the most recent voter registration information.

3:20 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Michael Reagan sums up the race in Florida: "There's now a 12th commandment: Forget about the 11th commandment."

3:15 p.m. ET - @mjaconicnn: As you watch our Florida primary coverage tonight, use your own magic wall on your smart phone, tablet or computer: cnn.com/calculator.

3:07 p.m. ET – - Florida is a winner-take-all state, which means the candidate who receives the most votes Tuesday captures the state's 50 delegates.

2:53 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: does @Newt2012HQ @newtgingrich have a path post-Florida? follow along #magicwall and you make the call: on.cnn.com/xUc29F #cnnelections

2:21 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: Things I'm looking for tonight in FL: the margin of Romney's win (over/under 10pts) & how do panhandle evangelicals break.

2:14 p.m. ET - @wolfblitzercnn: Pacing myself. Slept well, ran 5 miles, eating healthy. I start #CNN Florida coverage 4PM ET @CNNSitRoom & stay on til midnight,

2:00 p.m. ET - How many voters participated in early voting? Read more here from @psteinhausercnn.

1:49 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Some days campaign travel is allllrrriiggghhht pic.twitter.com/jeth18AQ

1:00 p.m. ET - Florida has a closed primary, which means only registered Republicans may participate in Tuesday's GOP primary. Of Florida's 11.24 million voters, 36.2% or 4 million are registered Republicans and 40.5% of 4.55 million are registered Democrats. Over two million have no party identification.

12:58 p.m. ET - @ShanTravisCNN: You know you're in North Florida country when you see this off the road. I think I'll try some! pic.twitter.com/caWSmueg

12:51 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: GOP legal counsel.agreed w/Fla. GOP that winner take all. Last word til next word.


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. ELAINE

    This whole Republican primary thing is terribly disheartening. So much negativity..so little focus on the issues
    we Americans face. WHY can't they sit down & say what EACH of them think are the main problems & just WHAT
    they intend to do about them. Everyone I'm hearing is very discouraged with Government PERIOD! There does not appear to be any hope for us..no bright light! I am asking that each candidate step up & do just that!
    Better yet..I would LOVE to see all these MILLIONS of dollars spent on TV ads..Imagine how far that would go to feed
    people that are UN employed. I would surely vote for a candidate that contributed a big chunk of money to Charities that provided for people who are un employhed. I doubt that will happen..they can't seem to get their heads around just what this country needs!

    January 31, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. westward

    Romney spent over $16 Million on negative ads in Florida. Note: He didn't chose to lay out a plan to rebuild the middle class(because he will not be doing that) or any plan that showed that he wouldn't cut medicare or social security (because he does plan massive cuts in these areas). He just spent it on stirring up mud on his opponents. Tells you volumes about what kind of leader he'd be – negative with no plans. Red flags, Florida. They were all there. You voted for a loser.

    January 31, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    "GOP legal counsel.agreed w/Fla. GOP that winner take all. Last word til next word."

    But, the rules that Republicans set up in 2008 require that delegates be awarded proportionally because of the early date. I knew they would bend them. Other states that were not able to move their dates because of the penalties should be upset that Florida is getting a hard slap on the wrist; FL forfeits half of its' delegates. Winner takes all can give the winners too much of a head start. That's why the early contests are proportional in the first place.

    January 31, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. A Southern Lady

    The Republican debates have been a study in disgusting behavior, untruthful statements, bad manners and character assination. Neither Gingrich or Mitt Romney have shown leadership qualities, a desire to debate topics of interest but have, instead, sunk into who can be the meanest and the most low-down of the candidates. I can see neither of these men sitting in the Oval Office. My vote goes to the only reasonable acting, gentlemenly adult and that Is President Obama. What has happened to the once-proud Republican party?

    January 31, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. WiredweirdinSF

    Anybody see the CBO report today. Deficit mroe than expected, taxes will raise by 30% starting next year, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will consume 70% of budget. Way to go Obama. And then the careful fact checkers at CNN don't even report his gaffes during that Google+ thing yesterday. The incompetent, inept, corrupt, union toady is an absolute disaster, but theliberal medial won't say a word. Guess they must be scared he will treat them like he does Fox News and the hard working American Taxpayer, with utter contempt.

    January 31, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Willie Floyd

    This campaign should make every candidate feel a deep sense of shame. Apparently money doesn't require that manners and civility be shown. How could any decent person possibly envy anything about them-including money. Have they forgotten "the love of money is the root of all evil"? I think I'll remain in the "middle class" thank you very much.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    January 31, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    "What has happened to the once-proud Republican party?"

    Simple. The psychopathic elites realized the GOBP was the easier party to take over and turn into their deathcult. The rightwing brain tends to be more authoritarian and susceptible to propaganda.

    January 31, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Armando Parra

    Arie Fleischer true conservatives are taking note of just how establishment the Republican Party is showing itself to be. Romney is not a true conservative, been running for President for five years. True to moderate conservatives reject him time after time. So now Republican operatives such as yourself are trying to make Romeny the establishments choice by default. Make Gingrich out to seem a radical and an unfit conservative. Been Republican all my life and committed to conservatism. We are watching and taking note of your behavior, and many others like you through out the entire mass media.

    January 31, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. Rob

    SOOO many misled people here.
    Ron Paul 2012 for the truth, and for the end of tyranny.
    Anything else is just SLOP

    January 31, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Larry in Houston

    Vote for the Working People in this Country !! Vote Democrat !!

    January 31, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Derrick Cox

    Just remember, all the millions with realistic and positive perspectives don't even bother to read these silly comments. These attacks are no different than the negative ads they are complaining about, and are usually made by those who don't see it going their way. Whatever.

    January 31, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. Fred

    It is amazing to read all of your comments, you sound just like the pundits. Instead of focusing on what you are hearing on the news why don't you try focusing on the candidates character and their experiences and make your own judgment to which would be the best person to run the country. I for one think Romney has more integrity and experience running a state and also plenty of business experience creating job opportunities. The religion part is unimportant to me as long as he has a good moral character, which by the way, Newt Gingrich doesn't have.

    January 31, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Eric Nilsson

    Ron Paul is looking very strong in Nevada and Maine – he could come away with an upset and win the nomination. He is the only one willing to end the wars and bring out brave soldiers home, to defend OUR country. I'm voting for Ron Paul!

    January 31, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Arthur Johnson

    I feel bad for the GOP and the Republican party. All Ron Paul has to do is leave the party and taking millions of supporters away from the party. I am NOT a Ron Paul supporter, but I feel that as if we're shooting ourselves in the foot with a lack of coverage on him. With every debate I see and hear people abandoning Newt and Mitt to follow Paul.

    If the media does not perform an about face in regards to their coverage of Paul's campagin, hes gonna turn around and take Republicans out of the party. For the sake of the party, cover Paul's campaign. And if he really is as worthless as the mass media reports him to be, the extra attention will work against and not for him.

    Unless, he actually has a chance and defeating Romney. Then maybe maintaining a media blackout on his campagin will work.

    January 31, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. obandon

    Too bad all the money spent is on beating each other up. That money would feed a bunch of hungry children in this country, or help keep the unemployed with a roof over their heads instead of foreclosure. It would really be nice if these candidates would talk about what and how they would change and do things if elected to our country's top job. I like Ron Paul, but he is a little too weird on some things, so for me the only choice is Obama. Everyone else can go fall into their crap hole they are spewing.

    January 31, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. mara

    what a choice ..a guy that wants to take us to the 19th century,a morally bankrupt cheater,or a shill working for the rich man..shhesh

    January 31, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. Eric Nilsson

    On CNN's "Political Ticker" there is a story about Stephen Colbert, and none about the presidential candidate who currently has the 3rd most total votes in the country? Why is CNN giving such a proportionally small amount of attention to Ron Paul? He certainly is making a stir even without the benefit of free media attention, like the other candidates have been generously receiving.

    A piece of advise to voters: The internet is a great resource – do your own research. Don't just leave it up to companies that have vested interests.

    January 31, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. D

    With the exception of Ron Paul, the GOP is a complete disaster.

    January 31, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  19. Amy

    All of you obama supporters have something coming to you. Of course you do not recognize that he will be off the ballot in GA but in other states as well. Mitt is the same as obama in a different wrapper. Gingrich suffers from delusions of grandeur. Santorum has his head on IF he can restrain from calling out the blah people and not wanting to start war months ago. Sorry folks...you need to get off the mainstreet media and REALLY look up all this info that you seem to THINK you know. Ron Paul is the ONLY choice.

    January 31, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. zack

    Ron Paul 2012!

    January 31, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. insight iowa

    Listening to the Republicans down in Florida this week was like watching a con artist ripping off the elderly... they don't know it yet but they will later on.

    Iowa Republican voting straight Democratic Ticket 2012.

    January 31, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. insight iowa

    Amy – Common sense tells me Obama will be on that GA ballot... the very fact that Obama is not American is just false and GA looks foolish for even pushing it. Think about it... if Obama is not an American my party would have sent him packing years ago.

    Iowa Republican voting straight Democratic Ticket 2012.

    January 31, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. Proud Native

    Let's hope that the fool Gingrich has not cost Romney the presidency. Romney was on track to beat Obama, until Gingrich started the character assassination of Romney, and that put Obama out front. Is Gingrich really a secret agent of Obama? Gingrich has no serious chance of winning the presidency and never did. He is delusional.

    January 31, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. REAL WORLD ISSUES VERSES PEOPLE

    get moving 2012

    January 31, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  25. Droc

    Everyone is looking at President Obama's policies for unemployment in Florida but the truth is the promise from Gov. Rick Scott (R) of thousands of jobs. Its his policies and his denial to accept help that people will be thinking of when they step in the booth in November. Rick Scott represents the GOP by way of the Tea Party and he has done a great job on alienating African-Americans and Hispanics, in typical GOP fashion. No one can win without those demographics.

    January 31, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
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