Florida GOP primary: Live updates

Up to the minute developments in today's Republican primary.

  • Romney ahead by 8 points in final PPP Florida poll

    January 31, 2012 at 4:58 am

    PPP’s tracking of the Florida Republican primary wraps up with Mitt Romney at 39%, Newt Gingrich at 31%, Rick Santorum at 15%, and Ron Paul at 11%. PPP’s three days of tracking found very little movement in the race: Romney was at 39-40% every day, Gingrich was at 31-32% every day, Santorum was at 14-15% every day, and Paul was at 9-11% every day.

    According to the Public Policy Polling anaylsis, Romney will win in Florida today “because he’s winning his core groups of support by wide margins, while holding Gingrich to single digit advantages with his key constituencies.” Romney is winning moderates by 39 points (53-14), seniors by 12 points (46-32), and women by 12 points(42-30). Meanwhile Gingrich is only up 8 points with Tea Partiers (39-31) and 6 points with Evangelicals (38-32), groups he won by huge margins in South Carolina.
  • Will Florida determine a GOP front-runner?



    By Paul Steinhauser

    CNN Political Editor



    TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- After one month and three contests, it may be up to Florida to finally add some clarity to the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

    With three different winners in the three contests so far, Florida could finally be the state to put one of the four remaining major GOP candidates firmly into the front-runner position.

    At stake in Florida's Tuesday primary: 50 delegates, the largest haul so far in the primary and caucus calendar.

    And the latest public opinion polls suggest that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will claim those delegates.

    Five surveys of those likely to vote in the primary conducted between Saturday night and Monday afternoon all indicated that Romney held a double-digit lead over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas far behind.

    "The GOP contest may end in Florida, but that doesn't mean it will be over," said Alex Castellanos, a GOP strategist and CNN contributor. "With a win, Romney puts the nomination firmly in his grip. But it appears Gingrich and Santorum will keep trying to rip it from his hand."

    "Romney's relentless and disciplined effort should get more credit," added Castellanos, who was a top media adviser for Romney's 2008 nomination bid but who is not taking sides this cycle. "No long passes, just three yards a play and a cloud of dust. But with a win on Tuesday, he'll have gotten the nomination the old-fashioned way: He'll have earned it."

    Gingrich stormed into Florida 10 days ago on a roll off of his double-digit victory over Romney and the rest of the field in the South Carolina primary.

    But Gingrich's momentum quickly faded after Romney's campaign went on the offensive. Romney turned in two strong debate performances in the Sunshine State. And a relentless media attack against Gingrich took its toll.

    Romney's lead rapidly expanded over the past week.

    The move from the early voting states to Florida saw an increase in negative attacks and a surge in campaign spending.

    On the day before the primary, Romney and Gingrich continued to clash, with Gingrich accusing Romney of dishonesty but conceding that a wave of attack ads by the former Massachusetts governor and his supporters had been effective.

    "Frankly if all that stuff were true I wouldn't vote for myself," Gingrich said in Jacksonville on Monday, referring to what he called "dishonest" Romney ads.

    He later told a crowd in Pensacola that "We will only win if the American people decide that they are sick and tired of the New York and Washington establishment thinking that we are dumb enough to let them try to buy an election by telling us things that we all know are just plain not true."

    The Romney campaign and an independent super PAC that's supporting his bid have greatly outspent Gingrich and pro-Gingrich super PACs on ad buys in Florida.

    Romney acknowledged the turn to the negative, saying that his campaign was forced to respond to a negative salvo by Gingrich that helped the former House speaker win in South Carolina.

    And Romney said that Gingrich's vow over the weekend to take his presidential campaign all the way to the Republican convention is a sign of desperation.

    "That's usually an indication that you think you're going to lose," Romney told reporters on his campaign charter on Monday. "When you say 'I'm going to go on no matter what happens,' that's usually not a good sign."

    Gingrich "has been flailing around a bit trying to go after me for one thing or the other," Romney said later Monday to a crowd in Dunedin. "You just watch it and shake your head. It has been kind of painfully revealing to watch."

    While Tuesday is election day, voting began weeks ago. As of Monday morning, more than 632,000 people had cast ballots in early voting, which began statewide 10 days ago, or absentee ballots, according to statistics from the Florida Department of State, which oversees elections.

    To put that into perspective, that's more than the 601,577 who voted in the South Carolina primary, and far outpaces the combined 360,000 that took part in the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses earlier this month.

    It appears the early votes may be helping Romney.

    According to an American Research Group survey released Sunday, 36% of people questioned said they had already voted and among those Romney led Gingrich 51%-33%.

    While Romney and Gingrich will be in Florida on Tuesday night to watch election returns, Santorum and Paul, knowing they're out of the running for the 50 delegates, have moved on to the next contests.

    Santorum campaigned in Missouri and Minnesota Monday and will stump in Colorado and Nevada Tuesday. Paul was in Maine over the weekend and will spend Tuesday in Colorado and Nevada.

    Nevada's caucuses follow on Saturday, when Maine starts its weeklong caucuses.

    Minnesota and Colorado hold their caucuses on February 7, the same day that Missouri holds its non-binding primary.

    The Paul and Santorum campaigns are strategically looking to states in which they can pick up delegates.

    "Ultimately they're conceding in advance in Florida, while trying to shore up future states," said Doug Heye, a GOP strategist and Republican National Committee communications director. "Unfortunately for Paul and Santorum, that generally has not been a winning strategy. It's not being done out of a position of strength."

    A convincing win for Romney in Florida, coupled with an unfriendly calendar for Gingrich in February with more friendly Super Tuesday states more than a month away, could put Gingrich in a bind.

    "If he loses Florida, February doesn't look good for Newt Gingrich. He'll lose Nevada, with its large LDS population and lose Michigan (February 28), where Romney's father was governor. Newt will have a long march across the desert with no debates to revive his campaign," Castellanos said. "Newt has to hold his breath all the way to Super Tuesday, March 6th, raise 30 or 40 million dollars for advertising, and fix his problem with female voters to catch Romney. Those are grandiose problems, even for Gingrich."

    But even after Florida's 50 convention delegates are claimed in the winner-take-all primary, neither candidate will have more than 10% of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination at the August convention.


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  • Santorum to release four years of taxes



    By Ashley Killough

    CNN



    (CNN) -- Rick Santorum said Monday he plans to release four years of tax returns that he found while digging through paperwork at his Pennsylvania home this weekend.

    "But I want to make sure that I get someone to take a look at them to make sure that we -- that I have everything that I'm supposed to have," Santorum said on CNN's "John King, USA."

    The former two-term senator left the Florida campaign trail Friday to travel home for fundraisers and fish out his taxes, following calls from the media to release them after his GOP presidential opponents did the same.

    Both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, however, came under criticism for releasing tax returns that only span back to 2010.

    Also while Santorum was home, his three-year-old daughter Bella was hospitalized with pneumonia in both lungs late Saturday night, prompting the candidate to cancel his scheduled campaign appearances on Sunday.

    Shortly after taking part in a tele-town hall from his daughter's hospital room Sunday night, his campaign announced a new schedule for Santorum, this one taking him to other early voting states instead of Florida.

    The former senator will spend time this week in Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada and Colorado.

    Speaking to CNN from Missouri on Monday, Santorum said he was pleased with internal poll numbers in the state that he claimed show a close competition between him and the top two frontrunners: Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

    "We are planting our flag here," Santorum said. He added that his campaign will spend money on other states set to hold their contests on March 6, also known as "Super Tuesday."

    While the former senator trails far behind Romney and Gingrich in national polls, a new Gallup poll released Monday shows Santorum gaining momentum in the last three days. In the new poll, he garnered support from 16% of registered Republicans, up three points from Friday. Gingrich took 28%, while Romney came in at 27%.

    "This is a race that we believe will come to us at some point and we'll be able to take advantage of it when it does," Santorum said.


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  • Florida and the politics of delegates



    Adam Levy

    CNN



    Washington (CNN) -- Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich spent the final day before voting in Florida campaigning in the state. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul did not.

    Why skip Florida? Check the delegate rules.

    Florida has 50 delegates at stake. Unlike Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, the Florida state GOP uses winner-take-all rules to allocate its delegates. Only the first place winner in the primary will receive these delegates.

    With polls showing Romney and Gingrich in the lead, Paul and Santorum are campaigning in upcoming caucus states like Nevada and Colorado, where second and third-place candidates can still rake in some delegates. Florida is an expensive state to shop for votes; spending time and resources in caucus states, where a small group of organized voters can make a big difference, gives under-funded candidates a chance to jump ahead of their opponents.

    Romney has earned 34 delegates since the primaries began, according to CNN estimates. Gingrich has garnered 27, Paul has earned ten, and Santorum has bagged eight. CNN's delegate estimates are based on state contest results and a CNN survey of unpledged Republican National Committee delegates who can vote for any candidate they choose, regardless of their state's contest results.

    South Carolina gave Gingrich a much-needed boost in delegates. In an almost-clean sweep, he earned 23 of the 25 delegates at stake. Romney earned the remaining two.

    Florida represents about four percent of the votes needed to win the nomination -- the most of any single state so far. Its winner-take-all status will give the victor a temporary lead over the other candidates.

    It currently takes 1,144 delegate votes to win the GOP presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention this August in Tampa, Florida.


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  • Dispelling the myths of how Florida votes

  • 'Super' PACs set to disclose big donors Tuesday

    By JACK GILLUM
    Associated Press
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Get ready to find out who the millionaires are behind this year's presidential election.

    Shadowy outside groups funded by anonymous donors and working on behalf of candidates they support have pummeled Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and others for the past two months by spending millions of dollars on mostly negative TV ads that have had an enormous impact on the fight for the Republican presidential nomination.

    Now, for the first time since they started shaping this campaign in earnest, many of those "super" political action committees are set to disclose just who is financing their pseudo-campaign operations. Many took advantage of a change in federal rules that essentially let them shield their donors' identities until after key primary elections in January. But they still must submit their financial reports to the Federal Election Commission by Tuesday.

    Only a handful of donors are known, including Las Vegas billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson. His two checks for $5 million apiece to Winning Our Future, a pro-Gingrich group, essentially kept the former House speaker's White House campaign afloat at critical junctures just before the South Carolina and Florida primaries.

    Bain Capital executives and Romney friends have lined the bank accounts of the pro-Romney group Restore Our Future. Former Bain executive Edward Conrad donated $1 million last spring and Marriott International Inc. CEO J.W. Marriott Jr. gave the group $500,000, seed money spent to successfully hammer Gingrich in Iowa late last year as he started to rise.

    That's when the super PACs sprang into action in full force.

    Since then, groups working on behalf of Republican candidates for president have spent roughly $25 million in TV ads, most of which have been negative, in the first four states to vote in the GOP nomination battle - Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

    Of that, the pro-Romney Restore Our Future has spent about $14 million on ads, mostly to take down Gingrich in Iowa and Florida. That's more than the roughly $12 million Romney himself has spent on TV ads.

    The super PACs have also unleashed millions on expenses typically reserved for campaigns, including direct mailings, phone calls and get-out-the-vote efforts.

    It's a precursor to the general election, when super PACs aligned with both Republicans and President Barack Obama are planning to dole out even larger sums.

    These groups are the products of a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that stripped away old restrictions on corporate and union spending in federal elections. They can't directly coordinate with the candidates they support, but many are staffed with former campaign workers who have an intimate knowledge of their favored candidate's strategy.

    Some donors will never be known because some super PACs have established not-for-profit arms that can shield contributors' identities. Those arms can spend more than roughly half of their money on so-called advocacy, although campaign-finance reformers have urged the Internal Revenue Service to reduce that share.

    Super PACs like American Crossroads - backed by George W. Bush political adviser Karl Rove - and its own nonprofit arm played a significant role in the 2010 midterm elections, helping deliver the House to the GOP and boost the number of Republicans in the Senate.

    Tuesday's filings to the FEC won't just reveal many of the committees' financial backers; they'll also show how their money is being spent, particularly on infrastructure, payroll and travel. The same will be true in the campaign financial filings for President Barack Obama, Romney, Gingrich and others, who last released their finances in October 2011.

    But, above all, the FEC filings are likely to show the awesome impact super PACs have in supplementing expansive, national campaigns.

    Super PACs have become headaches for campaign-finance watchdogs, who have long warned of a potentially corruptive influence that hasn't been seen since the days of Watergate.

    But some GOP-leaning groups say their ads contribute to a marketplace of ideas and counterbalance the huge sums of cash that Obama and the Democratic National Committee plan to spend on the president's re-election bid.

    By law, presidential campaigns can raise, at most, $5,000 total from an individual donor.

    But super PACs can solicit and spend unlimited money - and some employ affiliated groups, known as 501(c)4 organizations, whose donors are allowed to remain anonymous. Watchdog groups like Democracy 21 have complained to federal regulators on that front, asking the IRS to limit how much those nonprofit groups can spend on political advocacy.

    ----

    Follow Jack Gillum at twitter.com

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  • Polls open across most of Florida


    MIAMI (AP) -- The polls have opened across most of Florida as Mitt Romney seeks to tighten his grip on the Republican presidential nomination.

    Polling places in Florida's Panhandle, which are in the Central time zone, will open at 8 a.m. EST Tuesday. Polling places close at 7 p.m. local time across the state.

    Romney enters the day as the heavy favorite in Florida's winner-take-all primary.

    GOP officials were anticipating a large turnout. More than 605,000 Floridians had already voted as of Monday, either by visiting early voting stations or by mailing in absentee ballots.

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  • Join me for a campaign rally today at 10am MT Lone Tree Golf Club Lounge, 9808 Sunningdale Blvd, Lone Tree, CO ht.ly
  • Today is the Presidential Preference Primary. Let's show Obama we are fired up to find his replacement. Vote Today! #Sayfie #Tcot #GOP
  • Treasure Coast voters go to the polls

    Ashleigh Walters, NewsChannel 5


    The Treasure Coast has about 150,000 registered Republican voters who are able to vote in Tuesday's primary.

    A steady stream of voters started to enter the precinct at Robert E. Minsky Gym in Port St. Lucie as soon as doors opened at 7a.m.

    Voters exiting the precinct say they made final decisions about candidates in the last few weeks, in the midst of emerging debates, advertising, campaigns and polls.
    Several said negative campaign advertisements have been a turnoff, and had the opposite effect to their intended outcome.

    Election organizers anticipate a large turnout at polls across the Treasure Coast.
    In Martin County, the Elections Office reports the number of precincts has been reduced from 46 to 31, meaning several locations have been combined.

    In St. Lucie County, four of the 80 precincts have been reorganized in some way. Contact your county directly to confirm the location if you have questions.

    Many absentee ballots have not yet been returned including 2,000 absentee ballots in St. Lucie County alone. If you wish to vote today, you can take the absentee ballot directly to the precinct to turn it in.
  • Santorum bristles as Gingrich suggests he quit



    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says Newt Gingrich shouldn't be urging him to drop out of the primaries.

    Santorum tells Fox News Channel that one candidate shouldn't tell another "to get out of the race and get out of the way."

    The former Pennsylvania senator was responding to remarks by Gingrich suggesting other conservatives need to coalesce around him to keep Mitt Romney from winning the party nomination.

    Santorum says he thinks he's the better, more conservative candidate himself - but that wouldn't justify asking Gingrich to quit. He says, "Everybody should run."

    Santorum, who won a close victory in the Iowa caucuses, lags in the polls and has given up on Tuesday's Florida primary. He's moved on to other states including Colorado and Nevada.

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  • Today is the FL Primary. As we’ve seen so far, every single vote counts. Take action & get out the vote: mi.tt
  • I-4 corridor final focus for Gingrich, Romney today



    SHANNON McCAFFREY/Associated Press

    ORLANDO - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is set to make a final appeal for support as voters in Florida go to the polls.

    Undeterred by sagging poll numbers, the former House speaker is scheduled to do a blitz of local television interviews on Tuesday and to swing by polling places in Orlando, Lakeland and Celebration. He'll also stop by Fred's Southern Kitchen in Plant City.

    Gingrich is hoping to disprove polls that show him trailing rival Mitt Romney.

    The two are locked in a fierce fight for their party's nomination. Gingrich entered Florida following a comeback win in South Carolina. But after he was hammered by a barrage of ads from Romney, his support in Florida eroded.

    If he loses Tuesday in Florida's primary -- and the polls predict he will --Gingrich will spend the next month trying to prove the answer is yes.

    The former House speaker, who has pledged to fight on until the GOP convention this summer, faces a tough road out of Florida. He plunges next into a series of state contests where he has little organization and must overcome steep odds to win.

    Mitt Romney isn't taking his foot off the gas -- or off Newt Gingrich's neck.

    The Republican presidential candidate on Monday expressed confidence of victory in Tuesday's Florida primary. But he also made clear that he's girding for a long, state-by-state fight for the nomination against his chief rival and the other candidates still in the race.

    Over the course of the day, Romney continued to pummel Gingrich at every stop, even though polls show the former Massachusetts governor with a comfortable lead.

    Just a week ago, Romney arrived in Florida nervous and tired after a staggering loss to Gingrich in South Carolina. He's spent the past week attacking Gingrich at every turn and assailing him on TV.

    Romney will be in the Tampa Bay area today and will watch the election results tonight at the Tampa Convention Center, according to Romney's official web site.
  • Holder’s fantastical claim about #FastandFurious: bit.ly #tcot
  • Rubio says Florida winner will clinch nomination

    By Kevin Liptak, CNN


    (CNN) -- Florida's closely watched junior senator said Tuesday his state's primary election would determine the eventual GOP nominee.

    Speaking on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Republican Marco Rubio said he wouldn't handicap the race, but could predict the importance of winning the Sunshine State.

    "I'm not going to speculate as to who's going to win," Rubio said. "Here's what I'm comfortable saying. I think the winner of Florida is in all likelihood going to be the nominee of our party. Florida is a mini America. Virtually every issue we want them to be conversant on is a discussion we've had in Florida."

    Rubio, who hasn't endorsed a GOP presidential candidate ahead of Tuesday's primary, said his standing relationships with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich prevented him from publicly backing one over the other. Rubio said Gingrich helped him during his time in Florida's state legislature, and Romney campaigned on his behalf in his 2010 Senate bid.

    "I have relationships with two of the four candidates," Rubio said. "I know them well. I didn't want to get involved in the endorsement game. None of it will matter at the end of the day. My endorsement won't impact the outcome at the end of the day. Voters will make up their own minds, and we are going to find out tonight what Floridians think."

    The onslaught of negative ads in Florida has previewed what's in store during the general election, Rubio said.

    "I think that's been a part of every campaign," Rubio said. "Unfortunately, it's only gotten worse. No candidate in American history has ever run more negative ads than Barack Obama. I don't think that will change in 2012. Unfortunately people have to get used to it. I think voters see through that."

    Though political observers have pegged Rubio as a strong potential vice presidential pick, the Florida senator reiterated Tuesday what he's said in the past: he isn't interested in being a running mate, and is focused on his work in Congress.

    "I'm not thinking about the vice presidency or anything of that nature," Rubio said.

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  • RT @FloridaGOP: Today is the Presidential Preference Primary. Let's show Obama we are fired up to find his replacement. Vote Today! #Say ...
  • Romney confidently eyeing Fla. primary's big prize

    By STEVE PEOPLES
    Associated Press

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Mitt Romney oozed confidence and a defiant Newt Gingrich seemed to acknowledge his momentum had been checked, at least for now, as Florida Republicans voted Tuesday to decide who gets the state's 50 delegates, the biggest prize yet in the Republican presidential nomination contest.

    Romney is heavily favored in the winner-take-all primary, the final and possibly pivotal contest in a high-stakes month in which the former Massachusetts governor has claimed one win and two second-place finishes so far. On Monday, he campaigned so optimistically that he broke into song.

    Without predicting a winner or endorsing a candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told CNN on Tuesday: "The winner of Florida is in all likelihood going to be the nominee of our party."

    But Gingrich would have none of that talk. Outside a polling place in Orlando Tuesday, he told reporters the race wouldn't be decided until June or July - "unless Romney drops out earlier."

    For a time, Gingrich reset the GOP race with an overwhelming victory in South Carolina. But in the 10 days since, the contest has turned increasingly hostile and polls have swung in Romney's direction.

    "With a turnout like this, I'm beginning to feel we might win tomorrow," an upbeat Romney told a crowd of several hundred at a stop in Dunedin on Monday.

    Gingrich admitted that his momentum against Romney has slowed in Florida.

    "He can bury me for a very short amount of time with four or five or six times as much money," Gingrich said in a television interview. "In the long run, the Republican Party is not going to nominate ... a liberal Republican."

    The Gingrich campaign bragged that he had raised more than $5 million in January, more than half following his win in South Carolina, after raising $10 million total for the last three months of 2011.

    Romney's campaign canceled a Tuesday morning rally, but scheduled a night celebration at the Tampa Convention Center. Gingrich planned a series of public appearances - including visits to two polling stations and a stop at the Polk County headquarters - before gathering with supporters for a primary night party in Orlando. The last polls close at 8 p.m.

    The other two candidates in the race will not be in Florida on Tuesday. Both Rick Santorum, who's won 14 delegates, and Ron Paul, with 4, have ceded Florida's primary to Romney and Gingrich in favor of smaller, less expensive contests. They will spend the day campaigning across Colorado and Nevada.

    GOP officials in Florida were anticipating a big turnout, more than 2 million voters, up from a record 1.9 million in the Republican primary in 2008. More than 605,000 Floridians had already voted as of Monday, either by visiting early voting stations or by mailing in absentee ballots, ahead of the total combined early vote in the GOP primary four years ago.

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  • #Obamanomics at work: "CBO projects $1.08T deficit, higher unemployment" bit.ly
  • RT @DARTHKOOLAID: @chucktodd WOW new soup graphic, must be Souper Tuesday in Florida
  • Gingrich not impressed by critics who think he's done. "They're about as accurate as they have been the last two times they were wrong."
  • Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a rally with supporters in Naples, Florida where he kept up his attacks on Newt Gingrich. Credit: CNN

  • RT @stevebilafer: If as much attention was paid to the housing market in the early 2000s as we are paying now to Gronk's ankle - history ...
  • RT @panoplyprose: What if Charlie Crist ran against Chris Christie? That'd be the most alliterative election ever! @chucktodd @dailyrundown
  • Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks at a press availability with reporters following attending the Sanctity of Life Sunday service at Idlewild Baptist Church with his wife, Callista, in Lutz, Florida on Sunday, January 29, 2012. Credit: Shawna Shepherd/CNN

  • Gingrich won't say if he'd give his delegates to Santorum to beat Romney. "Why don't you ask that of Mr. Santorum," he says.
  • Perry blew through cash in final months of campaign

    By the CNN Political Unit


    (CNN) -- Rick Perry, the Texas governor and former presidential candidate, spent almost all of the campaign money his organization raised before dropping out of the race in January.

    Perry, who began the fourth quarter with roughly $15 million, spent $14.2 million during the last months of his campaign, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission late Monday.

    Perry raised just under $3 million between October 1 and December 31, a steep drop from the seven weeks of his campaign, when he brought in $17 million.

    Overall, Perry raised just over $20 million this campaign cycle, the bulk of which was raised between August 13, the day he announced he was running for the White House, and October 1.

    Perry enjoyed a spike in national polls, as well as polls in key early voting states, when he first jumped into the race. Fundraising for Perry was at its peak during that period, outpacing even former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the current frontrunner. Perry's campaign boasted after the third quarter filing deadline they had received donations from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

    Problematic debate performances and plummeting poll numbers triggered a slowdown in fundraising, though Perry's campaign continued to spend the cash they raked in during the candidate's peak.

    In the fourth quarter, Perry's campaign spent large chunks of money on payroll for campaign staffers, media production and advertising time, and "finance consulting." The campaign paid more than $5 million to Alexandria, Virginia-based Paint Creek Productions, classified in the FEC filings as a media expenditure.

    The campaign holds just over $90,000 in debt, including almost $50,000 to an Arlington, Virginia direct mail firm and more than $40,000 to a New Hampshire marketing consultant.

    Perry dropped out of the GOP race January 19 after poor showings in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries.

    -- -CNN's Peter Hamby and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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  • Presidential candidate Ron Paul told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" Sunday, January 29, 2012 that he believes he is "going to do quite well there" and has a very good chance of winning. Credit: CNN

  • 3 years after campaigning in FL, Obama has failed to live up to his promises: bit.ly #Flprimary #tcot
  • SHOW-ME SANTORUM

    By: Associated Press

    Facing the likelihood of a loss in Florida, Rick Santorum moved his campaign to Missouri and Minnesota. In St. Louis, he denounced the "gutter politics" of his opponents and scolded Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich without naming them. "We deserve better than the gutter politics that we've been seeing in this race," Santorum told more than 300 people packed into an auditorium at St. Charles Community College. He is the first Republican candidate to appear in Missouri in advance of its Feb. 7 primary, which will essentially be a statewide public opinion poll. The Republican Party plans to award its presidential delegates in Missouri through a series of caucuses that begin in mid-March. Gingrich didn't get on Missouri's primary ballot while others who have since dropped out of the race will be listed alongside Romney, Santorum and Ron Paul. Photo: CNN

  • #GOPtrivia is up next! First person with the correct answer gets a #FF and a follow from the RNC!
  • In 1933, Minnie Davenport Craig became the 1st woman elected Speaker of the House in a state legislature. Name the state. #GOPtrivia
  • "We need Newt" chant starts outside Gingrich office in Lakeland.
  • North Dakota is correct! Congrats and #FF. RT @TheSlamAnderson: @RNC North Dakota #GOPTrivia
  • RT @ColliersMag: congrats @newtgingrich for his article in Collier's! He's truly a man that believes in #America! Enjoy this great piece ...
  • Obama tells woman it’s “interesting” her husband can’t find a job: bit.ly #NotWhatObamaSees
  • Some PSL voters say negative political ads had oppositve of intended outcome, voting against negativity. @WPTV @Fox29WFLX
  • RT @SeanSnaith: Worst place to lose your job: Florida - CNNMoney: bit.ly
  • Voting is underway in FL. Let's surprise the Washington establishment. Need to find your polling location? Go here: bit.ly
  • Scott votes. For whom? Won’t say
    by John Kennedy, Palm Beach Post

    Gov. Rick Scott declined to say who he voted for in Florida’s Republican presidential primary, after casting his ballot early Tuesday at a community center a couple blocks from the Governor’s Mansion.

    Florida’s chief executive, who had declined to endorse or campaign with any of the contenders in the race, continued to keep his distance.

    “It’s a secret ballot, fortunately,” Scott said.

    He acknowledged though, his favorite had “less than 10 letters in their last name,” a standard that covers the field.
  • Text “RESULTS” to 91919 to get the results from the #FLprimary the minute we do! #Sayfie
  • RT @RockCenterNBC: How plausible is moon colony idea? @bwilliams with @neiltyson from Monday's #RockCenter: rockcenter.co
  • RT @adamsmithtimes: RNC: Here's why Obama is toast in Fla shar.es
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