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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Live From the Site of the Next 2012 Presidential Primary

I have been following politics since at least 1960.  Say, that's over fifty years!  But this is the first time that I have been in any state with a significant presidential primary election during the heat of the battle.  We came through Iowa two days after their first-in-the-nation caucuses.  I was expecting to see lots of lawn signs for the candidates.  I never saw even one.  Do you suppose they all got taken down the day after the caucuses?

Maybe the interest level among most people is not what the national media leads us to believe.  We have been here about two and a half weeks and have not seen many signs in the front yards.  In fact, on the 1.25 miles that I walk each day along Via de Luna, the main road here in Pensacola Beach, there is exactly one small political yard sign:

That contrasts with ten "For Sale" signs in the same distance.

I would venture a guess that the distribution of signs is about 90% Mitt Romney and 10% Ron Paul.  Here's a corner with one of each.

But the Paul people have enthusiasm.  I didn't get a picture of the pickup truck along the side of the road with large hand-lettered Paul signs.  But you can see that they are strong supporters by looking at these two signs.
Primary2012-2-1 Primary2012-1

By the way, the "Polarized" sign is above some electrical outlets for sale at the flea market and not necessarily a commentary on the electorate.

I was reminded this morning that here in the Florida panhandle, we are not really in "Florida," we are in "The South."  That reminder came at church when the second reading was from Saint Paul's letter to the CO-Rinthians.  And Paul was pronounced with two syllables (Pow-ull).  Pensacola is the county seat of Escambia County and in the 2000 presidential general election the vote was 63% Bush and 35% Gore.  You may recall that the overall Florida vote was somewhat closer.

Today I saw one lawn sign each for "Newt 2012" and "Rick Santorum."  Those were both the first I've seen for those candidates.  And yes, the local media are filled with political ads.  The news broadcasts, talk radio and Sunday talking head shows are all wall-to-wall negative ads.  Thank heavens for the fast-forward button on the DVR.  Even Monsignior Hunt, our Irish priest at Our Lady of the Assumption this morning commented on them in his homily.  "Anyone believe any of them?" he said, while discussing truth. 

The local paper put this advertising blurb on their newstands the day after the South Carolina primary.  As you can see, they sold all copies.

I'll keep you posted on how Escambia county votes on Tuesday night.  Meanwhile, enjoy the sunset that we watched this evening down the beach.

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