Key to Florida victory might be Jacksonville area

By Brendan Farrington

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 6 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Along with a stronger ground game — Doster says it's bigger and better organized than when Bush carried Duval County by 61,000 votes — the Romney campaign believes it will be able to win back Republicans who supported Obama.

"We were at a unique time in history. People were frustrated," Doster said. "I do not think they're going to put their faith back in him again."

That's the case with Lynn Fernandez, a shoe repair shop owner and a Republican who voted for Obama four years ago. Now she's voting for Romney. While she blamed Congress for lack of progress in Washington, she's taking it out on the president and hoping, not so optimistically, that a change can break Washington gridlock.

"Whoever gets in there is still going to have a difficult time because we're in such a mess. No matter how hard a president fights, he still has to fight the Senate and Congress," said Fernandez, 58. "I voted for Obama last time. Not that he didn't try. We've dug ourselves in such a big hole it's going to be a long time before we get out of it no matter who gets in there."

Larry Mordecai Jr., a 49-year-old Republican who until recently worked in the mortgage industry, said he was proud to vote for Obama in 2008 because the country was divided and he liked Obama's enthusiasm. He thought he would be an inspirational president. While he hasn't completely made up his mind, Mordecai is leaning toward Romney and wants to watch the debates before making a decision.

"I'm highly disappointed. It's going to take a lot of convincing on President Obama's part to really sway me in that direction," Mordecai said. "I'm not enthusiastic about either party and most of that would have to do with my lack of confidence in Congress."

James Murphy, however, is a Republican who supported Obama in 2008 and will vote for him again. Not that he has anything against Romney, saying, "I think he's a fine man." But he said it's Republicans in general who have convinced him to stick with Obama.

"My mind's been pretty much made up by how the Republicans have acted," Murphy said, adding that the GOP has obstructed Obama from seeking solutions for what's best for the country. "It's reprehensible. It's very much guided by the tea party and the religious right."

Follow Brendan Farrington on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bsfarrington

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