World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

United States presidential election in Florida, 2012

United States presidential election in Florida, 2012

November 6, 2012

Nominee Barack Obama Mitt Romney
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Massachusetts
Running mate Joe Biden Paul Ryan
Electoral vote 29 0
Popular vote 4,237,756 4,163,447
Percentage 50.01% 49.13%

County Results

President before election

Barack Obama

Elected President

Barack Obama

The 2012 United States presidential election in Florida took place on November 6, 2012 as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Florida voters chose 29 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan. Several counties in the state suffered delays in finalizing their votes. This was caused in part by a high turnout, as well as a large number of absentee ballots to count, though some (international) media are responding that 'foul play' might be involved.[1][2][3]

As of November 8, the voting had still not concluded. However, with much of the remaining vote still coming in from heavily Democratic areas, Mitt Romney's Florida campaign acknowledged that Romney had lost the state to Barack Obama. In order to certify the election in Florida, the ballots will continue to be counted.[4] Both Miami-Dade and Broward County completed their ballot counts on November 8, leaving Palm Beach and Duval counties as the only two that did not have a final count at the end of the day.[5]

Florida required all counties to finish counting by noon Saturday, but would not announce an official winner until the votes were certified on November 20. A recount is not done unless the difference is less than 0.5%. At 11 PM EST on November 9, the margin for Obama was 0.86%, with all but one county finished with their counting.[6][7] On November 10, most major news sources projected Obama to be the winner of Florida's 29 electoral votes. It was the last state to be called in the 2012 presidential election, and was also the closest.[8][9][10]

Barack Obama ultimately carried the state of Florida with 50.01% of the vote, to Mitt Romney's 49.13%, a margin of 0.88%. Having also won the state in 2008, Obama's 2012 victory made him the first Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt to carry Florida for the Democrats in two consecutive presidential elections.


  • Republican primary 1
    • Significance 1.1
    • Controversy 1.2
  • General election results 2
  • Analysis 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Republican primary

Florida Republican primary, 2012

January 31, 2012 (2012-01-31)

Candidate Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich
Party Republican Republican
Home state Massachusetts Georgia
Delegate count 50 0
Popular vote 776,159 534,121
Percentage 46.40% 31.93%

Candidate Rick Santorum Ron Paul
Party Republican Republican
Home state Pennsylvania Texas
Delegate count 0 0
Popular vote 223,249 117,461
Percentage 13.35% 7.02%

Results by county. Orange indicates counties won by Romney, and purple, those won by Gingrich.

The Republican primary was held on January 31, 2012.[11] Fifty delegates were at stake, none of them RNC (or super) delegates; it is unclear whether these delegates will be allocated proportionally or winner-take-all. Originally awarded 99 delegates,[11] the Republican National Committee removed half of Florida's delegates because the state committee moved its Republican primary before March 6;[12] the Republican National Committee rules also set the delegate allocation to be proportional because the contest was held before April 1.[13] It is a closed primary.[11] There were 4,063,853 registered Republican voters as of January 3, 2012.[14]

Florida is spread over two time zones, so voting wasn't completed until 7 pm CST/8pm EST.[15]


In an effort to increase the political importance of their state's primary and receive added media exposure often directed to the early contests, Florida decided to plan its primary ahead of the early contests, a move that violated Republican Party rules and forced early states to move up their contests.[16] Florida announced that their primary would occur on January 31 instead of the expected March; Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina were expected to have their primaries in February but were forced to push their primaries into January, thereby shortening the overall amount of time that each person could campaign. Florida made this move in 2008.

As a result of this calendar violation, Florida was stripped of half of its delegates, awarding only 50 delegates instead of the original 100 delegates.

Dean Cannon, the Republican speaker of the Florida House of Representatives: "My goal all along is for Florida to preserve her place as the fifth spot on the nominating calendar and not to move ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire."[17]


According to a Gingrich campaign memo, he will challenge the results based on an interpretation of the Republican National Committee's rules that state that no contest can be winner-take-all prior to April 1, 2012.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24] Gingrich will request that delegates be divided proportionally, corresponding to the percentage of votes each candidate received.[25] It is not known what result a successful challenge might have.

General election results

The final vote count was unknown at noon Friday, November 9, 2012.[26] The delay in the final count was caused by a combination of an extremely long ballot (with eleven state amendment questions) and a high number of absentee ballots. There were 240,000 absentee ballots in Miami-Dade County alone, with 54,000 of these cast on election day. Four urban counties, Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Duval, all experienced problems with counting their large number of absentee ballots. Each ballot had to be hand certified page by page, and then the pages had to be hand fed into the counting machine one by one.[26] At noon Friday, Dade and Broward had finished counting, but Palm Beach and Duval were still counting.

General election results from the Florida Department of State Division of Elections as of 11 AM (Eastern time) November 19, 2012.[7] This table shows the final official results.

Candidate Party Votes Percent
Obama / Biden DEM 4,237,756 50.01%
Romney / Ryan REP 4,163,447 49.13%
Johnson / Gray LBT 44,726 0.53%
Stein / Honkala GRE 8,947 0.11%
Barr / Sheehan PFP 8,154 0.10%
Stevens / Link OBJ 3,856 0.05%
Goode / Clymer CPF 2,607 0.03%
Anderson / Rodriguez JPF 1,754 0.02%
Hoefling / Ellis AIP 946 0.01%
Barnett / Cross REF 820 0.01%
Alexander / Mendoza SOC 799 0.01%
Lindsay / Osorio PSL 322 0.00%
Reed / Cary WRI 36 0.00%
Duncan / Johnson WRI 3 0.00%
Coniglio / Walsh WRI 1 0.00%
Durham / Lopez WRI 3 0.00%
Byrne / Harris WRI 0 0.00%
Magee / Harney WRI 2 0.00%
Total 8,474,179 100.00%


Obama won the state and its 29 electoral votes on Election Day by a margin of 0.88%, down from the 2.82% margin in 2008. Florida was the closest race in the country at the presidential level. Throughout the night, Obama and Romney exchanged the lead, but the networks avoided calling the state for Obama until November 10 because long lines in the larger urban areas of the state meant that the vote count was delayed.

According to exit polling, Obama won 95% of the African-American vote (13% of voters), 60% of Latino voters (up 3 points from 2008 and 17% of all voters), and 50% among Independents (who accounted for 33% of all voters). Mitt Romney won white voters by 24 percent. In addition, both Democratic and Republican strategists agreed that the President’s ground game and early voting leads played a huge role in such a tight race. Despite laws that curbed early voting, more than 4 million Floridians cast a ballot before Election Day (almost 50% of all voters), and reports showed that Obama was leading by about 104,000 among those voters.

The political geography of Florida is largely divided in thirds: South Florida (around the Miami metropolitan area) is heavily Democratic, North Florida (the Florida Panhandle, and the Jacksonville metropolitan area) is heavily Republican outside of Tallahassee and Gainesville, while Central Florida is a “swing” area of the state, where Democrats have made inroads in recent years.

Mirroring the results of the 2008 presidential election in Florida, Obama dominated South Florida, winning Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties by comfortable margins, and actually increased his vote share in Miami-Dade and Broward counties from 2008. However, Romney's performance in Palm Beach County was notable considering he is the first Republican presidential candidate in over a decade to receive over 40% of the county's vote. Obama’s gains in South Florida have been attributed to increasing his vote share among Cuban Americans, a large demographic in and around Miami who have reliably voted Republican, from 35% in 2008 to 48% against Romney's 52% in 2012. Combined with his large margins of victory among non-Cuban Hispanics in the state, Arian Campo-Flores at the Wall Street Journal noted that, “Together, both trends are accelerating a realignment of the state's Latino vote, from once solidly Republican to now reliably Democratic.”[27]

Although Obama lost large swaths of 2004. In the former, Obama carried Orange County (which includes Orlando) by 19 points and Osceola County near Orlando by a 24-point margin (Bush won it in 2004 52%-47%). In both counties, he was able to tap into a growing Puerto Rican community, which overwhelmingly broke his way.

In the Tampa Bay region, Obama once again carried Hillsborough County, home to Tampa, by a 6-point margin, receiving over 13,000 more votes than he won in 2008. Obama also won Pinellas County, home to St. Petersburg, by a 52%-46.5% margin. Bush had narrowly carried the county by about 0.1% in 2004. In all, Obama won the three largest counties in Central Florida – Hillsborough, Orange, and Pinellas – while keeping his losing margins low in other populous counties – Polk, Seminole, and Manatee County.

Contrary to the 2010 elections where Democrats lost four seats from Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats picked up four seats from Florida this time around, as the state’s congressional delegation increased by 2 members. Patrick Murphy defeated incumbent Republican Allen West in Florida's 18th congressional district and Joe Garcia defeated incumbent Republican David Rivera in Florida’s 26th congressional district. Democrat Alan Grayson won a new seat in Florida’s 9th congressional district while former West Palm Beach mayor, Lois Frankel, won the newly created seat in Florida’s 22nd congressional district for the Democrats. At the state level, Democrats picked up two seats in the Florida State Senate and five seats in the Florida House of Representatives as well.


  1. ^ 2 Days After Election Florida Still Counting Votes
  2. ^ 'Obama wint ook in Florida' (in Dutch)
  3. ^ Barack Obama closes in on Florida vote victory
  4. ^ Caputo, Marc (November 8, 2012). "Obama to win Florida; becomes emotional during thank you speech". The Miami Herald. 
  5. ^ Weaver, Jay; Mazzei, Patricia; Morgan, Curtis (November 8, 2012). "Broward joins Miami-Dade in completing election count". The Miami Herald. 
  6. ^ "Florida May Have Election Results By Noon Saturday". Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  7. ^ a b "President of the United States". Florida Department of State - Division of Elections. 
  8. ^ "It's official: Obama wins Florida". Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  9. ^ "Obama wins Florida, topping Romney in final tally". Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  10. ^ "Obama's final win in Florida gives him 332 electoral votes". Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  11. ^ a b c Richard E. Berg-Andersson (December 28, 2011). "Florida Republican primary". The Green Papers. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 50 of Florida's delegates to the Republican National Convention are allocated to the Presidential contender receiving the most votes in today's Florida Presidential Primary. (Republican Party of Florida Rule 10 B). 
  12. ^ "GOP chairman: Florida will be penalized, and 2012 race was set | Iowa Caucuses". October 25, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Gingrich memo on Florida delegate allocation". Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  14. ^ "County Voter Registration By Party as of Jan. 3, 2012" (PDF). Florida Division of Elections. January 15, 2012. p. 5. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Florida Department of State – Election Results". Florida Department of State: Division of Elections. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ Astor, Maggie. "Florida Primary: January Date Violates Republican Rules, Complicates Race". International Business Times. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  17. ^ O'Conner, Patrick (September 29, 2011). "Early Florida Primary Would Scramble 2012 Calendar". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Florida primary 2012: Delegate dispute could drag on". Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Gingrich to Challenge Florida’s Winner-Take-All Primary Results". Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  20. ^ "The Real Delegate Count and Math — and Why Santorum Could win if Gingrich Drops out.". Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Gingrich Challenges Florida's Winner-Take-All Delegate Scheme". Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Gingrich challenges Florida GOP winner-take-all rule in attempt to get delegates". Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Gingrich Camp Memo Challenges Florida as Winner-Take-All; RNC Responds". Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ "RNC Member: Gingrich Could Contest Fla.". Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  25. ^ """Gingrich Memo "RE: Issues Surrounding Florida’s Allocation of Delegates. Politics. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  26. ^ a b Broward joins Miami-Dade in completing election count
  27. ^ Campo-Flores, Arian. "Cuban-Americans Move Left". 

External links

  • Official website of Florida's Secretary of State's office
  • Official website of the Florida Republican Party
  • The Green Papers: for Florida
  • The Green Papers: Major state elections in chronological order
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.