"The Sunday Political Brunch" -- January 29, 2011

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(Providence, Rhode Island) -- The Florida Primary is Tuesday, but don’t let anyone tell you it’s the end of the GOP campaign trail. With three different winners in the first three states, Florida will be big for the winning candidate; but we have a long way to go!

“Who’s On First? – That’s a great question! The latest polls in Florida show Mitt Romney in the lead by anywhere from 8 to 16 points. Just a week ago, Newt Gingrich had a lead of 6 to 8 points coming out of his win in South Carolina. Despite the poll upheaval, the state is now clearly trending for Romney.

“The Cat with Nine Lives!” – Should Gingrich lose in Florida, is he done? Well, he was “done” last June - when much of his staff quit - only to rise from the dead and lead for awhile in Iowa. Then after he lost badly in Iowa and New Hampshire, he rose from the political grave again to win South Carolina. So, if he loses Florida Tuesday, is it over? Nope! While the February calendar is slow, March offers primaries in Southern conservative strongholds, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. He could bounce back - again!

“Cat, Nine Lives, Part 2” – So, Romney is ahead in Florida, but a new poll by NBC this week puts Gingrich up by 7 points over Romney when the whole nation is polled. The roller coaster ride goes on!

“Where is Florida, Anyway?” – The Sunshine State is really about five states in one. The Panhandle is the most conservative and is similar to Alabama and Mississippi. The Jacksonville area is more moderate and is similar to Georgia. Orlando and Tampa are the state’s more Republican strongholds; the Fort Myers-Naples area has a lot of retirees from the Midwest; and the Southeast Coast has a lot of retirees from the Northeastern states, plus a lot of immigrants from Cuba and the rest of the Latin America. In short, it’s not a state you can pigeonhole as red or blue, conservative or liberal. It is a melting pot!

“State of Disunion” – Perhaps he misspoke - because I have heard him state it correctly on other occasions - but in the State of the Union address President, Obama said Warren Buffet’s secretary paid more in taxes than Mr. Buffet. That simply is not true. While she does pay a higher tax rate, she did not pay more in actual taxes.

“Book It!” – No matter whose side you are on in the Barack Obama vs. Jan Brewer dust-up in Arizona, Brewer was the clear cut winner in at least one category – book sales. Her book, “Scorpions for Breakfast,” skyrocketed from the discount rack to Number 5 on Amazon’s Bestseller list!

“Super Brawl!” – While everyone is talking about the Super Bowl this week, the “New Yorker” is sporting a humorous, but sobering, cover: President Obama is watching the Super Bowl, only the combatants are Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, instead of the New England Patriots and New York Giants. Many in the GOP fear the whole campaign is becoming a reality TV show even more self-destructive than the Kardashians'. Stay tuned!

As always, post your questions, comments and disagreements at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com. Just click on the comment button!

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