Despite Mitt Romney’s 7 point lead in Florida according to the newest Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald Florida poll, many Obama aids and supporters are proclaiming that the battle is far from over in the nations most infamous swing state.
The president campaigned in Florida during the second half of this past week, stopping at the University of Miami to give a fiery speech that excited thousands of college students, a key constituency within the state. In an obvious attempt to make up for ground lost after the first presidential debate, President Obama gave no mercy as he hurled attack after attack at his opponent, Mitt Romney.
“After running for more than a year in which he called himself severely conservative, Mitt Romney’s trying to convince you that he was severely kidding,” the president said. “Suddenly, he loves the middle class. Can’t stop talking about them. He loves Medicare, loves teachers; He even loves the most important parts of Obamacare.”
Later on in his speech he laughed as he mocked Mitt Romney by saying,” Tax breaks for outsourcers? He’s never heard of such a thing! Kicking 100,000 young Floridians off their parents’ insurance plan—who, me?”
It seemed as though the president’s energy in Miami might have paid off, at least for those who were in attendance. According to those in attendance, he displayed the vigor and enthusiasm many thought he was lacking in the debate. The president reportedly had the crowd either howling with laughter or howling with cheers for the majority of the speech.
According to Obama’s senior campaign adviser, David Plouffe, the president has more to be thankful for than his stellar reception last week in Florida. Indicators from Florida absentee ballot requests appear to be leaning in Obama’s favor.
“We like what we see in terms of absentee ballot requests, not just the D’s versus the R’s, but importantly how the independents have requested them,” Plouffe said. “We believe we’ve done a good job under tough circumstances of registering voters in Florida. The electorate of 2012 is not going to be the electorate of 2010 obviously and we think it’s going to closely resemble 2008. It’s going to end up in a range of 2 or 3 points at the most,” he added.
Plouffe also dismissed the Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald Florida poll as an outlier, a common strategy for campaigns in the face of such debilitating statistics.
In an effort to win the numbers game in Florida, the Obama for America campaign is encouraging as many voters as possible to cast “in-office absentee ballots” if they feel there is any chance they may not make it to the polls on election day. This process allows voters to go any Supervisor of Elections office and cast an absentee ballot on the spot. It is the hopes of the Obama campaign that this will not only encourage more people to vote, but also send a message to any remaining undecided voters that Obama is the true favorite in Florida.