Joe Gruters fired up by Donald Trump’s New Hampshire victory

Donald Trump Associated Press photo 01.24

While Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio will go on to South Carolina with their candidacies still somewhat viable, they’re both looking up at Donald Trump, who took a giant step toward the Republican nomination for president on Tuesday with his victory in New Hampshire.

One of the first Florida Republicans to celebrate the Trump victory was Joe Gruters, the Sarasota County Republican Party chairman, and chairman of Trump’s Florida campaign.

“I think that he is well underway to victory, and I think tonight is the first of many wins,” Gruters told on Tuesday night.

Trump takes his campaign to the Sunshine State this weekend, appearing in Tampa at the USF Sun Dome on Friday night, an event that Gruters predicts will be “absolutely incredible.”

“Florida is one of the first states to have a winner take all delegate situation, and I think that his rally here on Friday is going to continue to build that momentum,” Gruters said. “I think he’s going to do really well, and I think all the polls have him him up between 10-15 points here in Florida.”

Gruters is actually low-balling those numbers. The Real Clear Politics average of polls conducted  in Florida actually has Trump up by 20 points over his next closest challenger, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Rubio and Bush lag behind both Trump and Cruz in those polls. Trump is averaging 40 percent in Florida, Rubio is at 13.7 percent, and Bush is at 9 percent.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected]


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