The race only gets more interesting, but it could take past Super Tuesday before there is an established front runner for the GOP’s nomination for President. NPR reports the following:
With his convincing Florida win on Tuesday, Mitt Romney has re-established himself as the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But he has not yet managed to restore his luster as the GOP’s “inevitable” choice.
NPR is projecting that Romney has won the Florida primary, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in second place. With 44 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had nearly 48 percent of the vote. Gingrich had 31 percent. NPR’s projection is based on exit polling and on actual vote counts from counties that ended voting before 8 p.m. EST, when the final polls closed.
By taking the largest state to vote so far by a significant margin, Romney has recovered from Gingrich’s decisive Jan. 21 win in South Carolina. But Gingrich vows to press on — as do Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
The race will continue for an additional “six to eight months,” Gingrich told ABC News on Tuesday — “unless Romney drops out earlier.”
Such bold claims aside, the calendar appears to favor Romney, at least in the short term. Several states will hold caucuses and primaries in February. In many cases, they appear to offer favorable terrain for the former Massachusetts governor.
“Obviously, he’s going to have tremendous momentum from this,” says John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, a social conservative group, who has endorsed Santorum. Romney will “win Nevada and Michigan from this.”
How Romney Won Florida
After suffering a serious setback in South Carolina, Romney kept strongly on offense against Gingrich for more than a week, pummeling him with personal attacks and an ad campaign that has been estimated at…(read more)