Friday, October 17, 2008


Some stats on Florida, the election & voters (Source):

  • "According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, in the second quarter of this year, 6 percent of Florida's residential mortgage loans were in foreclosure, leading the nation."

  • "The I-4 corridor is to political consultants what Gettysburg is to Civil War buffs—a slice of land where battles can be forever studied and re-enacted. Running from Tampa on the Gulf Coast through the theme parks of Orlando to the Atlantic beaches of Daytona, this is where more than 40 percent of the state's voters live. Of them, 20 percent are independents with the rest almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans."

  • "In modern Florida history Democrats have always maintained a voter-registration edge over Republicans, but many of these Democrats are conservatives who have helped put successive popular Republican governors—Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist—in office and have no trouble crossing party lines to cast a presidential vote."

  • "Two-thirds of Floridians aren't from Florida, and, like good Floridians, most of my breakfast mates are originally from someplace else. This transience is another factor that makes Florida's voters so hard to pin down. Stanley Smith, a professor of economics at the University of Florida, estimates that almost 20 percent of this year's Florida voters will be new voters—either they've arrived since the last presidential election, or they've become old enough to vote."

  • "As the Washington Post points out, as of Sept. 1, more new Florida voters registered as independents (155,000) than as Republicans (129,000), and newly registered Democrats exceeded both of those combined (316,000)."

  • "In Florida every group is touted as the one that could tip the state: blacks, Hispanics, Jews, retirees, white women, young people."

  • "Charlie Crist made it legal for ex-convicts to vote, and since then about 120,000 have had their voting rights restored. As University of Florida economist David Denslow observes, "Most felons are not Republicans. If they are, they've retired to Bermuda."

  • "Obama's strategy to turn this state back to the Democratic column for the first time since Bill Clinton won in 1996 is to never leave Florida voters alone for a second. He's going to spend almost $40 million here; McCain's campaign is spending $25 million—many millions of which it thought it would be able to spend elsewhere. Obama has about 50 field offices; John Kerry had 14 in 2004. In the first week of October, Obama poured $2.8 million into television advertising in the state; McCain spent $623,000."

  • "Both the Realtor and the political scientist believe that it's McCain's and Obama's job to convince Florida voters that they can stop the roof from caving in. "Unless we get real estate moving again," says Lynn Mooney, "it doesn't matter who's in office." Or, as Richard Scher puts it: "The whole state floats on real estate. The winner will inspire confidence about fixing the real-estate collapse."

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