On to . . . Florida
8:01 AM, Jan 11, 2012 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
But the story of the Florida primary may be absentee ballots. As of the beginning of this week, 413,000 Floridians had requested absentee ballots for the January 31 primary – some 46,000 of which have been returned. Romney’s team has quietly kicked off an elaborate plan to encourage supporters to vote absentee and to track the requested ballots in order to ensure that they become Romney votes. The Romney operation is comparing lists of those who cast absentee ballots in recent elections to those who have requested ballots this year and urging known Romney supporters to vote before the polls open on the final day of this month. It’s paying off. Romney advisers believe that it’s possible that the campaign will have met half of its vote total goal in Florida before polls open on January 31. In addition to the obvious advantage of having had those ballots cast, that early work frees up the rest of the organization to concentrate on getting a much smaller universe of likely Romney voters to the polls on primary Tuesday.
If the results here Tuesday made it more likely that Republicans will nominate Mitt Romney in August, the results 1,300 miles to the south in three weeks might make it a virtual certainty.