January 22, 2012

Florida: Romney tries for half a tax loaf

Mitt Romney, perhaps under a general note-taking from his South Carolina loss, perhaps under the prodding of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, is releasing some of his tax returns.

But the "some" is small, only covering 2010 and 2011.

So, will this help or backfire? There's the precedent of his own dad, who released several years of returns, as well as other candidates in general doing that on a regular basis for 30 years now.

I think it backfires. It keeps the "what's Romney hiding" issue front and center. Per the idea that Gingrich can do quite well in northern Florida, but not so well in the southern urban areas, it could be worth 3-5 percentage points in what's already looking to be a nasty battle.

That said, how well can Gingrich land blows if Romney ducks most debates? Or will that hurt Romney further?

And, if Gingrich wins Florida, even as more of his own laundry gets further airing, will we have the establishment pushing harder for Romney? For "anybody but Gingrich"? Can Santorum win by being quiet?

Stay tuned; Florida's going to remain fluid, even volatile.

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