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Mood -- Second File

  It’s hard to find Republicans in Broward County, the Democrats’ strongest Florida bastion where a strong party turnout can make the difference in statewide races.

  Of about 926,000 registered voters county wide, fully 50 percent are Democrats with the balance split almost evenly between Republicans and independents.  Only about one in seven of the county’s 794 precincts have a GOP majority.

  That’s the political profile of two polling places at Ingalls Park, located in a completely middle class neighborhood in Hallandale Beach, where homes nevertheless sell for upward of $300,000. Registered voters in the diverse neighborhood are about half white and a quarter each blacks and Hispanics.

  Marie Labissiere, 52, was born in Haiti, came to the U.S. 24 years ago and works as a custodian. She’s registered as a Democrat and quick to proclaim her party loyalty.

  “I voted all Democrat because I like the Democrats,” she said in English heavily accented by her native Haitian Creole. “They’re better for poor people.”

  Labissiere belies conventional wisdom that voters concerned with pocketbook issues vote Republican. She does the opposite.

  “Everything is so expensive. You go to the store and can’t buy anything,” she said, blaming the war in Iraq for rising prices.

  The cost of education also matters; Labissiere’s daughter left college after two years because financial aid was scarce.

  “She couldn’t get assistance. Every time she called she got a different story,” she said.

  Gerard Guarino also stuck to the party line, saying he never votes otherwise. This election, said he voted Democrat because of “everything.”

  “The deficit, the war, the scandals, basically all of those,” said the 51-year old Italian-born Democrat who came to Florida by way of Boston and hopes to launch a career in real estate.

  The country’s “a mess, a total mess. We’re the most hated people in the world because of the war,” he said.

  “I hope the Democrats take the house and the senate and impeach Mr. Bush,” he said. “If they could impeach Bill Clinton for having a lousy affair, they can certainly impeach this guy.”

  Guarino’s father Bernardino, 75 [76 on 11/18], agreed, nodding emphatically.

  “Any time the Democrats are the majority, it’s a good thing,” he said.



A few comments on this one instead of detailed annotation:


  I chose this precinct because I pass through it taking Jolie to school and knew it's different demographically from the first one I covered. I wanted someplace more diverse and more middle class. It's also close to FIU.

  The lede came out of a concern that I'd spoken to very few Republicans.

  To reassure myself, I went back to my voter registration spreadsheet to figure out the county's profile as a whole and to determine exactly how many GOP majority precincts there are.

  Got home prices for the area by asking a campaign volunteer standing outside the polling place who lives in the neighborhood. Her house was just appraised at $320,000. Note, though, that I kept figures approximate.

  Could have written a clearer transition from the nut graf/county-wide info into the polling place I covered. Would have been better to say "The political profiles of two polling places at Ingalls Park in Hallandale Beach matches the county."

  After that, the story runs pretty much the same as the first.

  Note, though, that I included my own observations based on my own knowledge in the transition that talks  about pocketbook voting.

  Then, a transition into the second source, again including something from the previous section to link to this one.

  I included the guy's father because he was there and because it gave a little color to the story. Note that I confirmed his birthday, this because he said he was almost 76. This would be important in ase anything from the file ends up in a later story.

  Started reporting this one at about 3 and filed by 5:30 or so.





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