Posted by on February 01, 2012 in Blog
While the candidates performed in the expected order in Florida’s Republican Primary results, the wide gaps between them were a bit surprising. Romney won by a very comfortable margin, earning over 46% of the vote. Gingrich came in at second place with 31.9% of the vote. Santorum had a mere 13.4%, while Paul came in with a shabby 7%.
Newt Gingrich was unhinged by Romney’s easy victory, and printed “46 states to go” signs for his second-place victory rally, indicating that he’ll be fighting on for a long time. He is also now embracing the underdog grassroots organizing narrative, declaring “We're going to have people power defeat money power in the next six months.”
Santorum seems to be attempting to roll over Newt and position himself as the primary Romney alternative in the field. Today, he said that the GOP does not need a candidate with the kind of baggage Newt brings. Rush Limbaugh is speaking out in favor of Santorum, recently saying, “Everybody is guilty of some transgression somewhere against conservatism, except Santorum.” But having seen how much good the Herman Cain and Sarah Palin endorsements did Newt, one can’t imagine Limbaugh will be much of a factor for Santorum.
Because Florida is a winner-take-all state when it comes to delegates, Paul didn’t see it as worth his effort to campaign there. His son Senator Rand Paul explained “They've had a plan for a long time to emphasize the smaller caucus states, to spend their money wisely and to accumulate delegates." There are several reasons why Florida may have been deemed unwinnable by Paul. The Huffington Post suggests that “Paul's unwillingness to rattle his saber at the Cuban island off the coast of Florida doesn't play well with the exile community.” The same is probably true regarding Israel and Florida’s Jewish community.
Super Tuesday on March 6th will probably be the deal-closer, but from here we go to Maine and Nevada to see what’s next for the GOP later this week.