Marco Rubio Would Energize Florida Most: Influential Republicans
Political Influencers in the Patch "Red Tampa Bay" survey agree that Rubio would help Mitt Romney's campaign the most.
Mitt Romney announced Saturday morning that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan will be his vice presidential running mate. Earlier this week, local Republicans agreed that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was the best choice if Romney wants to win the Sunshine State: that's the main finding of this week's inaugural Red Tampa Bay survey.
Although the survey was done prior to Romney's announcement of his runningmate, how do you think Paul Ryan will will impact Romney's campaign in Florida? Tell us in the comments section below.
Patch surveyed influential conservatives this week and asked how they felt Rubio would impact the Romney campaign if chosen as his Vice Presidential runningmate.
60 conservatives from Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota Counties were asked using an automated surveyed, and 31 responses were collected.
Red Tampa respondents were adamant that Rubio's candidacy would energize Latino voters. 87% said that Latino voters would be energized by Rubio more than any other candidate being discussed.
"His ability to impact immigration and his immigration positions are important to Latino voters," said on respondent. "Most Hispanics see the Tea Party as not aligned with their interests, and Rubio could easily change that view."
81% of respondents say they completely (42%) or somewhat (39%) agree that Marco Rubio's candidacy would energize Republican voters in Florida more than any other VP currently being discussed.
Rubio's conservative principles were cited most often as the trait that will most energize Florida Republicans.
"I am not sure Rubio's state senate record is of all that much interest to the general Republican base," said one Red Tampa Bay roster member. "He rarely mentions it and most Floridians recognize him more as US Senator than a former State Senator."
"The closest I think we'll get to something meaningful is his opposition to Obamacare," said one respondent.
81% percent say they think Rubio's candidacy as Vice Presidential nominee would energize Tea Party voters in Florida more than any other VP currently being discussed.
One participant cited "His desire for lesser government and his firm stance on the Constitution" as the thing that will mean the most to Tea Party voters.
Though one dissenter said they felt that "the tea party has cooled toward Rubio as of late."
When asked the most important attribute in Gov. Mitt Romney's selection for vice president, responses focused mainly on campaigning.
"To generate excitement in an otherwise dull campaign," said one Republican.
"Someone who makes up for his non-conservative shortcomings," said another.
"A vice-presidential candidate should have the ability to bring close swing states into the Republican column for the Presidential election, even if it means that the candidate moves the count by only a few percentage points," was another response.
The "Red Tampa Bay" Survey
Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in Tampa Bay. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between July 25, and August 9, 2012.
Patch will be conducting Red Tampa Bay and Blue Tampa Bay surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in Tampa Bay. (If you are an activist, candidate, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a weekly survey that lasts just a few minutes, please email Chris.Taylor@Patch.com.)
Red Tampa Bay Roster: Shirley Wood (Pinecrest912 Leader) Guyann Bracken-Fay (Liberty School) Chris Shalosky (Fishhawk Republican Club President) Kathy Brown (Fishhawk Republican Club Membership + 912 activist) Stacy Feiler (Liberty Tree Consulting) Deborah Cox-Roush (Hillsborough County Republican Party, former chairwoman; Committee on Arrangements at Republican National Convention) Clif Curry (Local attorney) Art Wood (Hillsborough County Republican Party, Chair) Betty Jo Tompkins (Candidate, House District 59) Mark Proctor (Member of the Hillsborough County Republican Party Executive Committee) Kristina Lade (Manatee County activist) William Lade (Manatee County activist) Clint Miller (East Republican Club, Republican Eexcutive Club) Vanessa Baugh (Republican Manatee County Commission candidate) Jenah Victor (Manatee County Republican Party activist) Toni Parsons (Manatee County Republican volunteer) Carol Whitmore (Manatee County Commissioner) Erwin Beck (President of Republican Club of On Top of The World) Nancy Riley (Pinellas Republican Executive Committee member) Norm Roche (Pinellas County Commissioner) Karen Seel (Pinellas County Commissioner) Joe Paige (Contractor, part of Patriots Inc.) Ginger Rockney-Johnson (Member of the North Tampa Chamber of Commerce ) Bob Silah (Founder Operation Helping Hand) Becky Burgue (Retired Gaither teacher and member of Working Women of Tampa Bay) Amber France (Member of the Carrollwood Area Business Association) Julie Higgins (Carrollwood area activist) Darrel Honick (Pinellas County activist) Allison Kuhlman (Pinellas County activist) William Steven (Pinellas County activist) Jacksons Marrero (Pinellas County activist) Jane Norrie (Pinellas County activist) Bob Newcomb (Gulfport Area Republican volunteer) Jeri Reed (Gulfport Area community activist) Andrew Reder (Gulfport Area student activist) David Hastings (Former Vice Mayor, Gulfport) Andrew Reder (Student president of Stetson Law College Republicans) Christine Brown (Gulfport Area activist ) Gina Burke (Gulfport Area campaign worker) Danie Bothem (Gulfport Area volunteer) Steve Simon (Former Pasco county commissioner) Walter Price (Candidate for property appraiser Pasco) Don Stephenson (Pasco school board candidate) Jack Mariano (Pasco commissioner) Sandy Graves (State committeewoman candidate) Mary Gray Black (Largo city commissioner) Casey Cox (President of Republican Club of Greater Largo) Tony DiMatteo (Pinellas Republican Executive Committee member) Pam Dubov (Pinellas County Property Appraiser) Barbara Stevens (President of Central Pinellas Republican Club) Mike Fasano (Florida State Senator) Bill Phillips (Pasco Republican Activist) Jeff Cannon (Historian and activist in Pasco County) Wil Nickerson (Pasco Republican Activist) Chris Sprowls (Assistant State Attorney) Gus Bilirakis (U.S. representative) Susan Latvala (Pinellas County Commission Chairwoman) Pam McAloon (President of North Pinellas Republican Club) Peter Nehr (State Representative) Bob Gualtieri (Chief Deputy, Pinellas County) Gene Webb (Republican Volunteer) David Jolly (Former aide to Congressman Bill Young, active in Pinellas County Republicans) Alan J. Suskey (Tampa Bay Young Republicans member) Asher King (Sarasota Republican Activist) Joe Gruters (Chair, Republican Party of Sarasota County) Dr. Rich Swier Sr. (Conservative talk show host) Carolyn Mason (Sarasota County Commissioner) Joe Affronti (Temple Terrace Mayor) Temple Drummond (Temple Terrace Community activist) Edward Vance (Temple Terrace City Council Candidate) David Pogorilich (Temple Terrace City Councilman) Frank Chillura (Temple Terrace Mayoral candidate) John Conneely (Delegate to the Presidency 5 Convention) Todd Marks (Lawyer who unsuccessfully ran for Florida House District 57) Greg Chesney (Westchase CDD member) Teresa Trubilla (President of Westchase Artists Society) Peter Condon (Westchase Area Business Association)