Florida Officially Goes Blue for Obama
Around the State
With all county elections offices having completed their absentee ballot counting, Florida has been officially shaded blue by the Associated Press to signify that President Obama won the Sunshine Shine.
While there are still overseas military ballots and those pesky provisional ballots, the president’s lead in the race for Florida’s 29 electoral votes now stands at 73,694 votes over Gov. Mitt Romney, of 8.47 million votes cast.
With Florida finally being counted from Tuesday’s election, the Electoral College count now stands at 332-206 for the president.
County supervisors of elections were required to have their first numbers to the state by noon Saturday.
“We're officially in the blue column! Thank you, Florida, for having Barack Obama’s back,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston.
Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-independent former governor who campaigned for Obama, gleefully tweeted: “The odds were stacked against us, but our voices can now be heard. Proud to see Florida counted.”
The Florida Democratic Party took the opportunity of the AP declaration to attack Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami.
"The Florida Democratic Party once again congratulates President Barack Obama on officially winning Florida's 29 electoral votes, and for winning our state with a majority of the votes cast," FDP Chairman Rod Smith stated in a release.
"This victory stands in contrast to both Governor Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio's failures to secure a majority of votes in their respective elections, and shows that President Obama and Florida Democrats' message of economic opportunity, helping businesses create jobs and investing in our public schools is in touch with the values of Florida's citizens. Floridians have sent a clear message that they have rejected the tea party extremism epitomized by the broken politics of Tallahassee, the Republican-controlled Legislature, and Governor Rick Scott."
Scott is up for re-election in 2014 and Rubio is already being talked about as a candidate on the party's national ticket in 2016.
Scott and the state canvassing board are to certify the results Nov. 20.
Two hold-ups remain in determining the size of the Republican majority in the state’s congressional and legislative delegations.
In the Congressional District 18 race, the Florida Democratic Party has continued to declare victory, yet U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, is expected to continue to contest the race because of “irregularities” with the count in St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties.
Based upon the current count:
Florida’s congressional delegation will stand at 18 Republicans and nine Democrats.
The Florida Senate is set to enter the 2013 session with 26 Republicans and 14 Democrats.
The Florida House stands at 76 Republicans, 44 Democrats.
A recount is set for Sunday in the House District 29 seat that is poised to require a shake-up in the House leadership and the Republican majority isn’t wasting time reordering the deck.
Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, who trails Democrat Mike Clelland now by 123 votes, on Friday informed Republican members of the House he isn’t expecting a favorable outcome in Sunday’s recount.
“I've been around long enough to know they rarely result in a difference of meaningful numbers of votes," wrote Dorworth, who had been in line to be the House speaker after the 2014 election.
"So while we will exercise our right to have these recounts, I do not anticipate that they will change the outcome of the race."
House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, quickly responded with a pair of tweets:
“Chris Dorworth is a friend and I wish him well. The FL House will miss him!”
“As for the speaker's race, let's allow the members that will serve under the next speaker decide.”
Dorworth recommended Rep. Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, and the Miami Herald reported that GOP representatives supported the proposal.
Barring future election upsets, or a change in party leadership, the house speaker lineup is now: Weatherford, 2013-14 sessions; Crisafulli, 2015-16; Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, 2017-18; and Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami, 2019-2020.
Former Sen. Paula Dockery, a Republican from Lakeland, criticized the leadership selection process.
"This is inside baseball but part of what is wrong with the process, choosing all the leaders so early," Dockery stated.
Machine recounts -- and there is one big one involving the future state House leadership even though Republican representatives have already moved on to anoint a new line of power -- must be completed by 3 p.m. Thursday.
Manual recounts have until noon Nov. 18.
Reach Jim Turner at email@example.com or at (772) 215-9889.