U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, said Wednesday he expects a range of presidential choices when Florida Republicans vote in the Jan. 31 primary, though the field will continue to shrink.
West, the he most prominent Republican in Broward and Palm Beach counties, spoke late Wednesday with Sun Sentinel reporters and editorial writers.
Here’s his take on the results from the Iowa caucuses, the Tuesday kickoff to the Republican presidential nominating contest.
“What you have seen coming out of Iowa with the top three that finished is a broad spectrum across the Republican Party. You have a person that is center to center-left, you have someone that is center to the right and you have a libertarian,” he said.
That refers to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who finished first, second and third.
“Now the question is how can they continue to play their message out with the other primaries,” he said. West expects a the field to continue to narrow. “Based upon his performance in New Hampshire, you’ll probably see maybe former Governor [Jon] Huntsman drop out.”
“I really believe that Florida’s going to play a very important role because Florida’s a very diverse state. It’s a very large state. It’s a swing state. And I think it would be really indicative of the way forward as far as this Republican primary.”
Who has the advantage coming into Florida [which holds its primary on Jan. 31]?
“Well, I mean I think that you have to look at the fact that already Governor Romney has a pretty established ground game down here. And that goes back to the fact that he did run in 2008 and so you build upon that. Rick Santorum will have to try to pick that game up as you go through New Hampshire, South Carolina. And Ron Paul is once again, he still has a pretty good ground game. It is already established here from 2008 so we’ll see what happens.”
You described Romney as center-left.
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