With ballots from heavily Democratic parts of Florida still being counted, officials with Mitt Romney’s campaign today conceded that he has lost the state, The Miami Herald reports.
As of this afternoon, President Obama led Romney by 55,825 votes in the state, with 49.9% of the vote to 49.24% for Romney, according to the Herald. Many of ballots remaining to be tallied are from Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties, all majority-Democratic South Florida counties where Obama already has a large lead. There are also absentee ballots to be counted from Duval County, which includes the state’s largest city, Jacksonville. Romney had a narrow lead over Obama in Duval, but even if the absentee ballots follow the same pattern, they would not produce enough votes to significantly affect the statewide total.
Obama had already clinched his reelection without Florida’s 29 electoral votes, which will bring his Electoral College total to 332. Romney had 206.
Brett Doster, Romney’s Florida adviser, said campaign staff had considered Florida winnable for the Republican candidate. “We thought based on our polling and range of organization that we had done what we needed to win,” he said in a statement, reports the Herald. “Obviously, we didn’t, and for that I and every other operative in Florida has a sick feeling that we left something on the table. I can assure you this won’t happen again.”
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said simply, “We feel we will be the official winner in Florida later today.”