Note To Mitt Romney: To Win Florida You Must Care About the "47 Percent"

Categories: Politicks
Yesterday's now infamous leaked video in which Mitt Romney said it was his "job not to worry about those" 47 percent of people who don't pay income taxes has certainly provided lots of fodder for his enemies. But even Romney supporters ought to be upset. The fact that their nominee has written off trying to make inroads with lower-income voters is absolutely bonkers, especially in Florida. One needs only to look at George W. Bush's electoral success in the Sunshine State to realize Republican nominees at least have to carry some of that 47 percent.

The falsities and conflations of Romney's class warfare-stoking rhetoric have been discussed at length today around the web, but even when you boil down Romney's private remarks about strategy to donors to remove the controversy, you'll find it's a ridiculous electoral strategy. The idea that as a Republican running for President you shouldn't worry about the way the lower class votes just doesn't hold water, especially in Florida.

Let's take a look at the vote breakdown in Florida of lower-income demographics for Republicans in the last three elections:

Floridians who make less than $15,000 a year:

  • Bush, 2000: 37.4 percent
  • Bush, 2004: 40 percent
  • McCain, 2008: 33 percent

Floridians who make between $15,000 and $30,000 a year:

  • Bush, 2000: 36.2 percent
  • Bush, 2004: 39 percent
  • McCain, 2008: 37 percent

Floridians who make between $30,000 and $50,000 a year:

  • Bush, 2000: 47 percent
  • Bush, 2004: 48 percent
  • McCain, 2008: 39 percent

And, now just for fun, let's look at the Republican vote split for all Floridians making $50,000 or less a year while also including data from Romney from the most recent CNN poll [link to PDF]:

  • Bush, 2000: 41.7 percent
  • Bush, 2004: 43 percent
  • McCain, 2008: 37 percent
  • Romney, 2012: 34 percent

Of course, Bush won Florida. McCain lost. Even in 2000 he did better among lower-income Floridians than McCain did in 2008, and improved upon his original numbers among that group in 2004 to claim a definitive, controversy-free win.

Polling indicates that Romney is actually doing worse among lower-income voters than McCain did. To make matters worse, Romney isn't doing any better with wealthier Floridians than McCain did either. The Obama-McCain split of Floridians making more than $50k was 44-55. According to that recent poll, it currently stands at 45-53.

Many have speculated that Mitt Romney can't win the election without winning Florida. Well, it appears that he's not going to win Florida without reaching out to lower-income voters. Though, after the release of that video he may have a hard time.


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drakemallard topcommenter

Government Salaries, Healthcare, & Retirement Benefits: “The average representative makes $174K a year, while the average American household makes $50K. In 2009, 261 of the 535 members of Congress were millionaires. In short, our federal lawmakers are nine times richer than the average American. They vote on their own raises, healthcare, and pension plans, and we are left with the bill. why is their no money for war vets?  


many of the people living on government handouts include corporate executives. Many of America’s largest corporations, including Exxon Mobil and AT&T, took in over $222.7 billion in corporate tax subsidies from 2008 to 2010. Romney himself has greatly benefited from the tax code.  Romney greatly benefited from the current tax rate for capital gains, which is 15 percent compared to the 35 percent tax rate for wage-based income. If Romney had made his $21.6 million in wages in 2010 he would have been forced to pay $7.56 million dollars. Because his income came from capital gains, Romney instead only paid $3 million in taxes.


@GOPnews NO, NOTE TO DEMS: The truth is out in the open, and your "entitlement society" mentality is NOT going to sit well with Americans!

drakemallard topcommenter

 @HarryTheHandyman “Mitt Romney's Mom says George Romney was on Welfare as a child. Lenore LaFount Romney, talking about how his father George was on welfare relief after he was a refugee from Mexico. Mitt Romney’s father was on welfare relief, and then he went on to make a great career for himself. His son is lying about welfare relief, and making ugly nods regarding the racial makeup of welfare recipients. In fact, just last night, the Romney campaign sent me an email doubling down on their welfare to work lie and begging for money.

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