Why Is Romney Up In Florida? Money, Plain And Simple


Newt Gingrich has been outspent on the Florida airwaves by a nearly $12 million margin, according to a source monitoring the Sunshine State ad war.

Through Friday, the Romney campaign and the super PAC Restore Our Future had spent a combined $15,340,000, the source said. Gingrich’s campaign and the super PAC Winning Our Future spent a comparatively paltry $3,390,000.

That’s just the differential in paid-media spending, so it doesn’t include Romney’s edge in field operations, mail, et cetera. And Romney’s advantage isn’t likely to go away in the primary, though the general election is an entirely different story.

Romney is the only GOP candidate with the capability to raise enough money not to get deluged by Obama in the general election. The question is whether Romney can generate enough of a message to inspire folks on his side to vote for him.

He’s done better in the debates lately, but he just doesn’t have the appeal to conservatives one would have expected in the GOP’s 2012 nominee.

This will be the second state, by the way, in which an avalanche of Romney attack ads will have buried Gingrich. The same thing happened in Iowa.

To see just how well Romney’s Florida assault has worked, here’s RealClearPolitics’ summary of the latest polls in Florida

Compare that with RCP’s summary of the latest national polls – Romney’s ad blitz isn’t blasting out nationally; it’s hitting on a state-by-state basis when he unleashes it…

As diverse as Florida is, it would appear the numbers in the Sunshine State ought to reflect the national numbers. That they aren’t is attributable to stuff like this…

and this…

Almost none of the claims made in those two ads stand up to scrutiny, by the way. There is a shred of truth to them, but to claim that somehow Gingrich wasn’t a Reaganite takes an amazing amount of chutzpah – and to make that claim when you’re Mitt Romney and expressly decried Reagan conservatism when running to the left of Ted Kennedy for the Senate in Massachusetts is simply a breathtaking feat of political cliff-diving.

Romney even has his PAC beating up on Rick Santorum for good measure…

But it’s not even just Romney’s Super PAC clobbering Gingrich. Romney’s campaign itself is trashing him.

Gingrich isn’t an angel in this campaign by any means. He’s hammering Romney as well and he’s not very polite about it.

The point being that Romney has the money and Gingrich doesn’t, so Romney’s attacks are going to be more voluminous and more effective.

Romney is going to win Florida tomorrow. And then he’ll win Nevada due to the heavy Mormon vote there. What happens after that depends on whether Gingrich can raise enough money to keep from being drowned in negative ads in future states.

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