15,000 Rally for Romney in Land O’Lakes, Florida

Putting Florida away:

On the scene report from Jeff R in the comments section:

I’m in that picture behind him somewhere. Just got back from the rally. I live in Pinellas and Land O’Lakes is in eastern Pasco County, about an hour or so away (longer tonight due to heavy traffic).

Land O’Lakes High School is on US 41. That road goes all the way down into downtown Tampa and it’ll take you up to Brooksville in Hernando County – so a good crossroads location for the Tampa Bay area. Traffic was backed up three miles away from the school in either direction. People parked two miles away and walked in. My group ended up much closer, but this group was determined to see Mitt Romney. So few could actually park at the school, so the side grass on US 41 was filled with parked cars.

It is worth noting that this rally began while FSU and UF were playing football today. UF was playing in “The World’s Biggest Outdoor Cocktail Party” against Georgia in Jacksonville – and yet so many thousands turned up. USF was also playing a football game in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium. It’s not like people didn’t have something else they could do that didn’t involve a massive crowd in a small space and lots of standing and walking. President Obama could only muster 8500 near downtown Tampa in a park that could hold 10,000 just a few days before. Yet Mitt Romney drew thousands from Hillsborough (where Tampa is), Pinellas (St. Pete/Clearwater), and Pasco (New Port Richey, Zephyrhills) and many had to drive through heavy traffic to get there where it took a half hour to go a mile. Seriously.

Had to go through “airport like” security overseen by the Secret Service. The uniformed agents were as nice as could be and it was superfast to get through. The Secret Service is a million times better at this than the TSA.

This was not merely an anti-Obama rally, folks. People have clearly grown a fondness for Romney. I doubt there was anyone there that felt they’re stuck with this guy. We’ve gone from agony in some corners of the GOP over nominating him to sheer joy. They like him and they were there to see Mitt. It was so loud when he walked up to the podium. And that prepared stump speech that I’ve heard bits of before, it sounded sincere. He even got in a few quips and showed he knew something about Florida – joking about how many transplants we have (whenever he’d mention another state like Wisconsin or Ohio (I shouted at that one), he noticed there’d be places in the crowd that would cheer) and he didn’t mention the cost of heating oil in the energy cost bit because he told us that we probably didn’t have to pay much for heating.

Romney is really good at this now. He’s clearly much more comfortable and he go us to stop chanting his name and instead chant “10 more days!” – though he picked up on the one negative of that chant, the fact that we’d have to change it tomorrow.

People are fired up. Romney is fired up, but I loved how he stressed that this is a team effort, not just for the election, but beyond. There is no cult of personality here, but I think there is a growing affection for the man and his family. People believe in him like they didn’t in McCain – and it is not a naïve belief like the one Obama rode to victory.

We need to work hard for the next 9 days to ensure the wave, but I feel it coming. I am convinced that there is something bigger nationwide that polls cannot measure, but these enthusiastic crowds that Romney is getting everywhere now do. A mere anti-Obama does not get crowds like this. Romney is inspiring people. Talked to more than a few people in the crowd who said they were registered Democrats that were disgusted by the President and what the left had done to their party.

Big change is coming.

25 Comments

  1. Tony
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is what pollsters are missing this year, enthusiasm from Republicans:

    From Tampabay.com…

    “LAND O’LAKES — Democrats like to chant “Four more years!” at their Barack Obama campaign rallies, but on Saturday fired up Florida Republicans offered up their own rallying cry.

    “Ten more days! Ten more days!” thousands of people chanted as Mitt Romney joined them at the Land O’Lakes High School football field Saturday night.

    The boisterous and optimistic Tampa Bay crowd of an estimated 15,000 provided a stark contrast to four years ago, when John McCain struggled to generate large Florida crowds in the final days of the campaign.”

    • Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I am kind of concern about EV numbers from FL http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/record-turnouts-early-voting-lift-obama-campaigns-hopes-florida

      • Brad
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 2:00 am | Permalink

        Early vote numbers were D+8 in 2008, as of yesterday, it was R+4. I don’t think the Obama folks are telling the whole story here.

    • TheShaz
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink | Reply

      Just got home from that rally in Land O Lakes.

      Wife and I went. They could have used a bigger venue. I was expecting Rubio but heard that his daughter was in a car accident. So Connie Mack jumped at the chance to pull on some Mitt-mentum coat tails.

      We also parked at the Community Center 2.5mi away – we waited for the shuttle bus. In fact we got on the last shuttle bus back. Had a good time talking with like minded people. You can feel the energy. I can agree with the previous comments.

      MITT WILL CARRY FLORIDA

      Mitt was great, nice seeing somebody up there giving a speech without a Teleprompter

  2. margaret
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A few weeks ago, someone looked at the internals of some polls and they were showing huge enthusiasm on the side of Republicans. They said this election could be “2010 on steroids”. Only ten days out, it feels like a wave election developing, just like 2010.

    • stuckinmass
      Posted October 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      republicans have enthusiasm. Mitt has momentum. unemployment is high. the incumbant has a big disillusionment problem.. independants prefer Romney by significant margins..

      why do i keep reading that its going to be a close election? the above and other factors should guarantee a win by a comfortable margin

      • stephanie
        Posted October 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        That’s how i feel. Can’t understand why the polls show such a tight race, specifically in all s wing states.

      • fab4gal
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

        According to Keith, it’s because people lose interest if they see the result ahead of time. All media cares about is people tuning in (or reading if it’s a paper), because this equals money. So you will see a lot of polls showing them tied or one just barely ahead probably up until the day of the election. But we here know better! 🙂
        ~ Brittany

  3. stephanie
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We need a land slide to avoid a recount like it happened in 2000. Pray for a landslide.

    • Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It could be the way the state models are being modeled

  4. Posted October 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Let’s send Obama to early retirement! Enough of HOAX AND CHANGE. Even Black people in Chicago are deserting him. Read more here

    http://www.audacityofhypocrisy.com/2012/10/27/think-squad-chicago-blacks-say-democrats-are-%E2%80%9Cclueless-about-how-mad-they%E2%80%99ve-made-black-folk/

  5. Freddie
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Obama is really trying to manipulate gas prices lower. The Libya thing looks to be breaking big next week but the hurricane may delay that. O left them there to die.

  6. Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m in that picture behind him somewhere. Just got back from the rally. I live in Pinellas and Land O’Lakes is in eastern Pasco County, about an hour or so away (longer tonight due to heavy traffic).

    Land O’Lakes High School is on US 41. That road goes all the way down into downtown Tampa and it’ll take you up to Brooksville in Hernando County – so a good crossroads location for the Tampa Bay area. Traffic was backed up three miles away from the school in either direction. People parked two miles away and walked in. My group ended up much closer, but this group was determined to see Mitt Romney. So few could actually park at the school, so the side grass on US 41 was filled with parked cars.

    It is worth noting that this rally began while FSU and UF were playing football today. UF was playing in “The World’s Biggest Outdoor Cocktail Party” against Georgia in Jacksonville – and yet so many thousands turned up. USF was also playing a football game in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium. It’s not like people didn’t have something else they could do that didn’t involve a massive crowd in a small space and lots of standing and walking. President Obama could only muster 8500 near downtown Tampa in a park that could hold 10,000 just a few days before. Yet Mitt Romney drew thousands from Hillsborough (where Tampa is), Pinellas (St. Pete/Clearwater), and Pasco (New Port Richey, Zephyrhills) and many had to drive through heavy traffic to get there where it took a half hour to go a mile. Seriously.

    Had to go through “airport like” security overseen by the Secret Service. The uniformed agents were as nice as could be and it was superfast to get through. The Secret Service is a million times better at this than the TSA.

    This was not merely an anti-Obama rally, folks. People have clearly grown a fondness for Romney. I doubt there was anyone there that felt they’re stuck with this guy. We’ve gone from agony in some corners of the GOP over nominating him to sheer joy. They like him and they were there to see Mitt. It was so loud when he walked up to the podium. And that prepared stump speech that I’ve heard bits of before, it sounded sincere. He even got in a few quips and showed he knew something about Florida – joking about how many transplants we have (whenever he’d mention another state like Wisconsin or Ohio (I shouted at that one), he noticed there’d be places in the crowd that would cheer) and he didn’t mention the cost of heating oil in the energy cost bit because he told us that we probably didn’t have to pay much for heating.

    Romney is really good at this now. He’s clearly much more comfortable and he go us to stop chanting his name and instead chant “10 more days!” – though he picked up on the one negative of that chant, the fact that we’d have to change it tomorrow.

    People are fired up. Romney is fired up, but I loved how he stressed that this is a team effort, not just for the election, but beyond. There is no cult of personality here, but I think there is a growing affection for the man and his family. People believe in him like they didn’t in McCain – and it is not a naïve belief like the one Obama rode to victory.

    We need to work hard for the next 9 days to ensure the wave, but I feel it coming. I am convinced that there is something bigger nationwide that polls cannot measure, but these enthusiastic crowds that Romney is getting everywhere now do. A mere anti-Obama does not get crowds like this. Romney is inspiring people. Talked to more than a few people in the crowd who said they were registered Democrats that were disgusted by the President and what the left had done to their party.

    Big change is coming.

    • Jan
      Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for that report. Sounds very nice and especially the last paragraph sounds very promising. If that crossover-trend would hold true elsewhere it would be the final swing.

      Higher turnout of the GOP base, lower turnout for the dem base, winning the independent vote ánd winning crossover’s… Those are all the ingredients one could hope for to have a fun night come 6th november and a headache on wednesday morning 😉

      • Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

        The staggering thing to me was Democrats showing up at a Republican rally and screaming support. This country is not as polarized as people would have you believe, it’s just that the left screams so loudly.

      • Jan
        Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        Well, it might be polarized, but the south pole area seems to be a lot bigger than the north pole area this time of the year 😉

      • fab4gal
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

        At the Red Rocks event in Colorado, there were people standing behind Romney with “Democrats for Romney” signs! Loved it.
        ~ Brittany

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Nice, thanks for that report. I think it’s the fact that he’s just really smart at winning elections that won the GOP over. Once he showed he knew what he was doing, in that first debate, everyone, myself included, thought, this guy is a President. His favorables are higher than Obama. A challenger does not lose in that case. Someone ask Nate Silver to look up when was the last Presidential election where the guy with the lowest approval rating won. Obama is going to lose.

      • Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the thanks. Other thing I left out here was that we did see Obama protesters that shouted out us as we went in. They were wearing “Educators Support Obama” shirts – not a shock since it was held at a public school. I’m waiting for the Democrats to remind us that public schools were built with government money and that at least 5 jobs there were “saved or created” by the President’s stimulus and that it only cost us $7 million to fund those five jobs for a year or two.

        So how many Obama protesters were there? Right around 10. I was close to actually feeling embarrassed for them. It was pathetic.

      • Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        Well said.

        Silver and his pals were assuring us months ago that Obama would be at 50% or higher in head to head polling at this point and that would mean victory. They acknowledged 49% was dangerous but still doable and quickly conceded that below 49% in head to head near the election was death for an incumbent. In the last week, Obama has polled 46% in Gallup and Rasmussen, 45% in Monmouth and AP national polls. Silver now assures us Obama has a 74% chance of victory with these numbers and writes ludicrous articles attempting to debunk the idea that undecideds break for the challenger (I have been working on campaigns since Nate was 2 – undecideds break for the challenger)

        Silver just wrote an article about how Arizona may be in play for Obama; I have been active in Arizona politics since the seventies, if Obama is within 6 on election day, free steak dinner for everyone on me.

        Today, WaPo comes out with a D+8 poll in Virginia, which is an R+4 registration state.

        Florida Dems returned 340,000 more early ballots than the GOP and Obama had a big lead among independents in 2008 and Obama still couldn’t get to 51% in Florida; this time the GOP has returned 65,000 more ballots, Romney is well ahead among independents and we are told Florida is still too close to call.

        Ohio was D+5 in 2008, the last 11 Ohio polls have averaged D+7 and they still can’t get Obama out of the margin of error.

        Early voting shows 19,000 more GOP than Dems have voted in Colorado and the Colorado polls show Romney leading among independents; prognosticators move Colorado to “leans Obama.”

        The propaganda and spin will do them no good. Obama is going to lose the national vote decisively and he is going to lose the electoral college.

      • Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

        And I’ve heard from family up in Ohio that they don’t think it will end up close up there – and they live in the Cleveland area. They see a lot of enthusiasm for Romney and little to none for Obama aside from paid union support. Heard rumors that there were quite a few paid union people at Obama’s rally in Tampa on Thursday.

        My enthusiasm and work won’t stop, but I just get a sense that a massive wave is coming. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as close as most polls show and that the Republican enthusiasm and turnout is not properly represented. My feel is that Romney ends up with a large win that serves as a repudiation to Obama and the Democrats – a win that will cause those moderate Democrats to seek bargains and, hopefully, one that will allow us to do less partisan bickering. Doesn’t mean there won’t be disagreements, but disagreeing with someone just because they’re Republican or Democrat is dumb. If you disagree with an idea and believe in something you feel is better then a discussion can begin. I hope an era of better civility is part of this.

  7. Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    I was at the rally with my husband and two teenage daughters (13 and 14). I agree with other attendees. We came up from Hillsborough County. Once we hit Land O’ Lakes, it was about 40 minutes until we could park at the Community Center so we could walk the 2.5 miles to the high school. It was well worth it. Mitt is warm, engaging, funny, and has a plan. It was nice to see America represented at the rally: young, old, male, female, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, firefighters, teachers, veterans, special needs. Truly a good night!

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink | Reply

      I noticed the diversity too. Heard snippets of Spanish in the crowd. I was surprised at the number of blacks I saw. Maybe that 21% number in the poll is close to right? Like I said in another post, Crist got 21% of the black vote when he ran for the Senate seat with a black Democrat on the ticket. IIRC, Jeb Bush also got that kind of support when he was governor, especially after re-election. School choice actually plays really well with the black community in Florida. Our voucher system has gotten thousands of kids out of failing inner city schools.

  8. Cheryl
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a night it was. America is praying for the USA to be strong and protected and mitt romney is divinely guided to assist us all and make us strong once again.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] 10/27/12, “Mitt Romney campaigns in Land o Lakes, Florida,” photo by Charles Dharapak of the AP, via Twitter. via Battleground Watch blog […]

  2. […] Read the whole story at BattlegroundWatch  […]

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