Morning must-read: Gingrich’s amateur campaign doomed Florida campaign

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“By the time Gingrich opened his Central Florida office in Orlando on Jan. 13, Romney had been diligently accumulating votes for weeks,” Sasha Issenberg writes in a must-read for Slate via Politico. “Gingrich’s campaign had no micro-targeting program, relying on its automated survey calls to identify Republican voters in the state and pinpoint their first and second choice candidates in the race. Those who had marked themselves undecided were put in a queue to receive a live call from a volunteer. Their scripts had a simple message for voters who affirmed they were still undecided: Watch the debates. Callers recited times and channels-‘It’s on CNN tomorrow night at 8’-as though they were reciting broadcast promos for the cable networks. But after the two Florida debates were completed last week, callers were invited to improvise their efforts at persuasion. As defense, they were given thick, stapled research packets with sections like ‘ethics problems.’ When they went on offense, several of the Orlando volunteers would boast first about how ‘well-educated’ Newt was.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.