Romney Supporters Gather at Tampa Convention Center

Some called it "the turning point" of the election.

Mitt Romney supporters from all over the Bay area turned out at the Tampa Convention Center Tuesday. 

They were there to hear from the candidate they hoped would win Florida.  .

“This was the turning point,” Michael Baum of South Tampa said.

Rachel and Nathan Crane of Lutz brought their five children to the convention center for the event. Though they were unable to get into the ballroom to see Romney’s speech live, the family gathered with about 50 others in an adjacent ballroom to watch a live feed of his speech.

“We’re really excited about Romney,” Rachel Crane said. “He has the experience in business and politics.”

The crowd was pretty quiet as they waited for Romney to appear. Small groups clustered, chatting, as throngs of local, national and international press set up shop throughout the convention center. At one point, it looked as if the media outnumbered supporters and staff 2:1.

Once Romney was declared the Florida winner, the crowd swelled; however, the revelry didn’t last long. Though one bartender said she was told they would be open well past 11 p.m. if Romney won, the crowd had dwindled to just a handful by 9:30.

Some convention center employees said they were asked late in the day to stay for Tuesday’s event.

Two employees stood guard over a covered batch of power cords and camera cables, pointing it out to all who walked by so no one would trip.

Someone tripped earlier, one woman said, so the two of them were making sure no one else did.  

When asked if she had voted, she said no.

Though she is a registered Republican, she hadn’t been able to leave work all day.


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