The year 2012 is a pivotal one for Florida and the rest of the country as the battle for POTUS rages on. The primaries in Florida are fast approaching - as of January 31st, another one of the big five swing states; Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado, will be tucked behind somebody’s belt and the GOP nominee will likely be a bit clearer.
Pundits believe that if Florida swings red, Marco Rubio - a big hit with many Floridians, may well be the vice presidential nominee...but for now it’s all up in the air. According to Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake with the Washington Post, both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney need a Florida win, but for different reasons.
Cillizza and Blake maintain that “Gingrich’s entire campaign, to date, has been built on two basic elements: 1) The idea that Romney is simply not conservative enough for the average Republican primary voter, and 2) The former House speaker’s demonstrated prowess in debates.”
Romney needs to win because losing two states in a row - Iowa (which was a close call) and South Carolina, his campaign could, as the Post claims “collapse under it’s own weight.”
Because the Sunshine state primaries are closed primaries - meaning only registered Republicans can vote - a win for Romney would put a big damper on Newt’s contention about Romney’s “conservativeness.”
Florida, like other states such as California, Nevada and Arizona to name a few, were hit particularly hard - values rose like a rocket across much of the state to insane levels, only to fall nearly as quickly. Trulia.com reports that sales prices over the previous 5 years in Tampa have depreciated quite a bit - by 49.8%, so it goes without saying that the real estate market will be (or at least should be) a huge talking point for the GOP hopefuls next week.
Florida Foreclosures and specifically the housing market as well as the economy will be hot button topics for voters not only in Florida, but in countless communities across the country. Except for maybe the District of Columbia, but we’re not counting them...
The price per square foot in Tampa rose 10.3% compared to the same time last year, and as of the last quarter of 2011, the median sales price was at $103,000 based on 2,258 home sales.
The median sales price declined by 6.4% from last year at the same time, however sales increased by double digits - 17.8%, which reflects some good activity out there.
The listing price in Tampa was, on average, at $312,770 for the week ending January 18, reflecting a mild increase of 2.3% compared to the week prior. Neighborhoods which have enjoyed increased activity include Tampa Palms, Old Seminole Heights, Davis Islands, Sun Bay South, Ballast Point, and Historic Hyde Park North.
The quality of schools in Tampa, Florida can vary greatly depending upon which part of the metro area you reside in. Parents of elementary school aged children can choose between many different private and public schools, and even some highly rated charter schools across the city.
Young adults can attend The University of South Florida (USF) which offers students 89 undergraduate majors and 139 degree programs ranging from medicine to the arts, the University of Tampa or Tampa University as well as many other educational facilities - so there is no shortage of educational opportunities.
For political junkies like myself, next week and the weeks that follow will be quite interesting to say the least, as my picks for both Iowa and South Carolina were dead wrong - hence the reason I’m not a political pundit!
What will be likely is that next week there will be no end of jokes across the ‘net and in conversations across the dinner table about Florida’s decision in the state’s primary on Tuesday because I’ve no doubt that talk of “chads” in various states of existence - dimpled, hanging, etc., will be the blame (or reason) for a particular candidate’s winning status!
Ah...the wounds still run deep, eh?