1:51am January 31, 2012

Romney’s Three Amigos: Rick, Ron and Latinos


When Wednesday arrives and the sun shines bright in Florida, yellow lines of UV rays quietly blasting the blood stained battlefield that is the next Republican primary, Mitt Romney will have the Latino vote, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul to thank.

The latest polling shows the former Massachusetts Governor making his own surge, averaging anywhere from 15-20 points in the lead.  That’s enough to call it insurmountable.

It’s certainly not South Carolina.  While Florida is, geographically and culturally Southern, it’s not as Southern as its neighbor to the North with the extra twang.  Florida is a multicultural melting pot and mish mash of Latino, Caribbean, White, Black and “Other.”  Miami is like New York with palm trees and stucco roofs.  Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando are vacation pit stops with transient populations; places like Boca Raton are paradise for worn out Northeasterners looking for quiet retirement.  There are probably more transplant Yankees and Phillies fans spread throughout the state than there are Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans in one county.

In many ways, Romney fits in Florida.

Still, the Romney camp should be worried by Public Policy Polling finding their boss leading Newt Gingrich 39% to 32% by 7 points, leaving us to wonder where Gingrich would be if Santorum wasn’t around (he’s at 14%) and Paul was non-existent (he’s at 11%). An Insider Advantage poll only has Romney ahead by 5 points, 36% to 31% – Santorum and Paul are tied at 12%.

That all said, some other prominent polls like Quinnipiac have Romney ahead by 14 points.  SurveyUSA has him topping the former Speaker of the House by 15 points.  In the We Ask America survey, Romney is pulling out a can of spinach on Gingrich with a 22 point lead.  The Boston-based Suffolk University poll shows Romney ahead by 20 points – but, they may be privately rooting for the home boy.

In each of these three last polls, it’s always Santorum and Paul at 11 or 12 points.

Many observers are blaming Santorum and Paul for taking away points from Gingrich.  But, there’s little conversation about what would have happened if they weren’t there.  How much are they taking away from Romney.

But, the electorate that is giving Romney that extra post-South Carolina push he needs to seal the deal is the Latino vote.  Yet, it appears to be the most ignored by mainstream media despite the fact that it may be the swing vote that will determine the Florida primary’s outcome.

A recent Univision-ABC-Latino Decisions poll found Romney ahead of Gingrich 40% to 33%.  Still, Gingrich is commanding a sizable chunk of Hispanic voters, just enough that it might give Romney a razor thin run for the $16 million he’s spending on destroying Newt.  In terms of favorability, Romney still edges out Newt 35% to 20%.

Latina women also give Romney the edge by more 7 points, 12% to 5%.

This is what’s carrying him over the top.  Latino voters account for over 12% of the Republican primary electorate, a very active and vocal mix of Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Caribbean Hispanics, Nicaraguans and Colombians.  It also explains why Gingrich is spending a considerable amount of last minute time campaigning in places like Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Ft. Meyer, hoping to scoop up pockets of fresh, red state White conservatives to offset that.

This makes Gingrich unpredictable.  There’s always room for an upset; his angry White male, pitchfork mob appeal resonates with many Southern White voters.  And the more copy that runs about how much the GOP establishment hates Newt is more food that feeds the insurgent beast.  It’s 2010 Congressional midterm redux, a scene right out of 28 Days with flesh-feasting zombie hoards overtaking huge swaths of voting bloc.  Gingrich loves every moment of the attention and grows faster with every insult, indignant statement and snub that’s thrown his way.

“What a pathetic situation to be running for the President of the United States with nothing positive to say. All you got to do is try to tear your opponent down to where they get smaller than you are, that’s the Romney model,” said Gingrich on NBC.

He’s probably right.  No longer will he be relegated to the kids table.  While Gingrich might lose Florida, he’s well positioned for comeuppance all the way back to Tampa Bay.  It begins in Florida and it may very well end in Florida, too.

About the Author

Charles Ellison
Charles D. Ellison, Managing Editor for Politic365.com, Washington Correspondent for The Philadelphia Tribune and a weekly political analyst providing insight on WDAS-FM (Philadelphia), WVON-AM (Chicago) and KSRO-AM (Sonoma County, CA). He is author of the critically-acclaimed urban political thriller TANTRUM. More information can be found at http://www.cdellison.com



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  1. David Platter

    Just read an article about why Ron Paul's record in congress is so bad?

    For those not smart enough to get it, its because the bills he tried to pass or actions he opposed were designed to reign in reckless out of control congressional spending, unconstitutional actions, undeclared wars, bail outs, raising taxes, raising the debt ceiling, auditing the Fed, invasion of our liberties and trying to stop the Patriot Act, SOPA, the TSA, the fed, and on and on. These ideas are not popular with the elite and go against the status quo. Don't forget they own just about everyone in congress except Ron Paul and his ideas are do not sit well with the groups who own us.

    All of what Ron Paul has warned the public about for 30 years is now upon us and we are headed for a cliff fast and the Lemmings want to commit suicide with them!

    The problem is that most people apparently do not understand and or think that being right about everything is not as important as supporting corruption and the theft of America, the subsequent transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich as long as you stay in line with your piers.

    The fact the his legislation was not approved is tribute to Ron Paul's quest for truth, honesty and the actions of a principled man who respects the oath of office and the constitution he swore to uphold.

    Corrupt people in Congress including the top office have a history of being willing to say and do anything to stay in power. They accomplish this with the support of the ignorant minions, the corporate media and the elites in power that have no problem shredding the constitution to control and spy on the rest of us to get what they want. Don't forget that for them spending a billion dollars to protect their multi trillion dollar empire is nothing but a drop in the bucket for them and well worth the money as they know how easy Americans can be fooled and tricked. They do it every time and people keep falling for it. Different faces same results every time.

    Be a good boy or girl and do as you are told. Do not rock the boat like Ron Paul does or you too won't get anything passed. I for one will only vote for what is right not what is popular. The fact that he did not get many bills passed is exactly why you should trust his principles and integrity vote for the only true conservative in the race! Vote Ron Paul and give the people a chance!

  2. Josh

    Wait…I'm pretty sure the race began in Iowa, not Florida. And Newt as well as Santorum are going to have a hard time finding delegates in states where they aren't even on the ballot.

  3. Ron Paul has my Latino vote. "Three Amigos"… Really?
    We the people are smarter than you.
    You can tell us who you want us to vote for.
    And we can think for ourselves and determine the candidate that has our interest in mind.
    We can also see who has the banks interest in mind.

  4. Matt

    I love how Gingrich supporters are angry at Ron Paul – TO ALL GINGRICH SUPPORTERS AND SANTORUM SUPPORTERS: Neither of these men qualified to be on the ballot in atleast 5 states, meaning…it is mathematically impossible for either of them to ever win the primary, Get It, this means only Paul and Mitt can win, so instead of Newt being mad at Ron, Ron should be mad at Newt for not getting out of HIS way. Sorry FOX and Rush neglected to tell you guys all this.

  5. Leo

    "Many observers are blaming Santorum and Paul for taking away points from Gingrich. But, there’s little conversation about what would have happened if they weren’t there. How much are they taking away from Romney."

    Does anyone else find this funny? The truth is the three other candidates are taking away votes from Dr. Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul 2012

  6. warrior214

    Vote on this poll, Mitt vs Ron…who would win if Rick and Newt finally concede defeat? http://www.facebook.com/groups/321319994572954/

  7. [...] losing Latino votersChicagoNow (blog)ABC News (blog) -American Progress Action Fund -Politic365all 114 news [...]

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