Mitt Romney Goes Negative Against Newt Gingrich In Florida
Mitt Romney‘s campaign began airing its first negative ad this week, lambasting Newt Gingrich for his connections to troubled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
After becoming the first candidate ever to win both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, Romney seemed to have the nomination locked up. But this week dealt crushing blows to the front runner: he fumbled questions about his tax returns (and then released his returns, showing that he is paying even lower tax rates than some thought); Iowa announced that he might not have won the caucus; and worst of all, he lost the South Carolina primary to Gingrich by an embarrassing two digit margin. Now, with Gingrich leading in the most recent polls in Florida, Romney is for the first time facing the serious threat of defeat.
Florida marks a shift in campaigning, as it is the first large state with multiple media markets in the election cycle. While “retail campaigning” full of handshaking and footwork is effective and expected in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, a larger state like Florida requires flashy TV ads and tons of money to buy ad time.
Furthermore, Gingrich’s ties to lenders could be especially damaging in Florida. The state was one of the largest benefactors of the real estate boom— and has been one of the hardest hit in the recession. Florida’s unemployment rate stands at about 10%, and has been above the national rate since February 2008.
What do you think? Will Romney’s negative push work?