January 31, 2012
THE SORT OF DRUBBING HE SHOULD ADMINISTER TO SUCH A WEAK FIELD:
Mitt Romney Romps to Victory in the Florida Primary (Howard Kurtz, Jan 31, 2012, Daily Beast)
Posted by orrinj at January 31, 2012 8:07 PMWith more than a third of the vote counted, Romney almost had a majority--48 percent--far eclipsing Gingrich, with 31 percent. Rick Santorum was at 13 percent and Ron Paul had 7 percent. If those margins hold, Romney will have drawn more support than Gingrich and Santorum combined, undercutting Newt's argument that they were dividing a larger bloc of voters than backed Romney.Romney may not have vanquished all conservative qualms about his candidacy, but in recovering from his drubbing in South Carolina, Romney has found a winning message that, combined with his money and organization, make him hard to beat in a 50-state contest. In fact, there's a strong case to be made that Gingrich forced the cautious and calculating Romney to become a stronger candidate.Two of three Florida voters say they back the Tea Party, according to exit polls, and nearly half were evangelicals, so this was a clearly conservative audience. And many clearly did not buy Gingrich's rhetoric that his opponent was merely a "Massachusetts moderate." Romney also bested his rival in the NBC and CNN debates, and two-thirds of those in the exit polls said debates were the most important or one of the most important factors in their decision.