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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida primary a rout for Hillary

I just got back from the Duval County Democratic Party HQ and was gratified at the size of the crowd and the new faces milling around. It was nice seeing an old friend or two. The local media was well represented in print and broadcast. Sen. Clinton won by a much larger margin over Sen. Barack Obama than I expected while the Amendment 1 revision on property taxes passed quite easily statewide. As it was an amendment it needed at least 60% to pass.

Once I got home and looked at the Duval County Supervisor of Elections web site for election returns I was struck at the lag in reporting for Duval County as opposed to its surrounding counties of Nassau, Baker and St. Johns. Out of these four counties only Duval had incomplete returns across the board for Absentee, Early Voting, and Precinct Return ballots. Baker County had 100% reporting across the board, even it's provisional ballots were all counted. Nassau and St. Johns had 100% returns on Absentee, Early Voting, and Precinct Returns. I find it very troubling Duval County, with it's tax base, cannot seem to bring itself into the 21st century.

While I was at the DEC HQ I listened with irritation at the local broadcast media while they characterized the Democratic primary as nothing more than a "beauty contest." Not once did I hear any of them explain the unusual circumstances the Democrats were put in by the Republican dominated state legislature forcing a vote to move the primary up earlier than the super Tuesday states. The GOP knew Democratic Party rules would be broken and punitive measures would be taken by the national party to show they were protecting the "Super Tuesday" states as well as New Hampshire and Iowa. What the media continues to leave out is the deal Democrats were forced to strike with the GOP dominated state legislature leadership in order to get paper ballots for the November general election. In exchange for the paper ballots the Democrats would remain silent on the early primary date. What really rubs is the open field the GOP made for themselves and their presidential candidates. The Democratic candidates did not bother to visit the state while the GOP candidates had the run of the state to themselves and the free media that went along went it. After the final results are in I'll take a look at the vote totals tomorrow.

It looks like McCain is definitely the front runner now for the GOP and Guiliani most likely to drop out. Huckabee did a faster fade than I expected so I expect so called "Super Tuesday" to all but declare McCain the presumptive nominee. It now looks as though the Democrats may be the ones to find themselves with a muddled picture afterwards. More on Amendment 1 tomorrow.

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