Romney’s win in Florida sets up last gasp for the not-Romneys

It was a big night in Florida for Mitt Romney, who, for the first time since actual voting began, is a clear front-runner with clear skies ahead. Not totally clear, but clearer than any of the candidates has seen so far.

Forty-six percent of the vote is better than just about all the polls were showing, as was his 14-point win over Newt Gingrich. Gingrich’s 32 points plus Rick Santorum’s 13 came up just short of Romney, pouring water on the theory that the former Massachusetts governor was merely the beneficiary of conservative agonistes about which candidate to his right was best to gather behind. From here, Romney is well-positioned to build some momentum in Nevada and three other caucus states, where his vast organization should serve him well (as should Ron Paul’s). Then come primaries in Michigan, his onetime home state, and in Arizona, where he’ll try to capitalize on his endorsement by John McCain. A series of quick victories, albeit without a ton of delegates behind them, would not be surprising.

But here, let’s pause for a word of caution — for surely this unpredictable, rough-and-tumble primary will not settle down so quickly and easily.

There are reasons for Romney to worry, ever so slightly, in the tea leaves from Florida. He was not the choice of the most conservative voters (Gingrich was, narrowly); almost four in 10 voters said they weren’t satisfied with the field of four; and turnout was down by about 250,000, or about 12 percent, from 2008. Those last two points, taken together, suggest Romney’s margin may have benefitted from some voters — some of the most conservative ones? — staying home.

But to whom are conservatives in other states going to turn? Neither Santorum nor Paul has shown an ability to break above the 30 percent mark in a state. Gingrich vowed to fight on, but how many more rises does he have in him, when they always seem to be followed by falls? The idea of a brokered convention won’t die, but at this point it appears more likely to come from the GOP establishment if Romney were to stumble badly than from conservatives who have tried five or six alternatives and found them sorely lacking.

Romney made a pitch for party unity in his speech last night. Now, we’ll almost certainly see an effort from the establishment figures who campaigned hard for him in Florida to bring this race to a close.

– By Kyle Wingfield

337 comments Add your comment

Joel Edge

February 1st, 2012
6:01 am

“There are reasons for Romney to worry, ever so slightly,”
I would think the Republican Party should be worrying. After November, Mitt can say ‘Well, we did our best’ and walk away. The party will have to deal with the fall out of trying to install Mr. next-in-line.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 1st, 2012
6:15 am

I can’t understand this – Newt had the endorsement of all the great minds of the conservative wing of the GOP – Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Chuck Norris – and still got the stew beat out of him.

Romney outspent Newt on TV ads – I can’t believe that Fox viewers would be swayed by some lies they hear on the TV, but I guess they were…

Hehehehehehhehehehehehe!

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 1st, 2012
6:35 am

Seriously folks, as the circle of jerks running for the GOP nomination gets smaller, it appears that Romney is the frontrunner, but Newt may still yet pull it out, although the fact that Romney is doing better in the debates must be a big worry for the master debater and code-word king Newt Gingrich.

250,000 voters “stayed home”? Perhaps they are turned off by the incessant whining and race-baiting xeno- homo- and femiphobic rhetoric that so captivates the tea-party set, but leaves decent people cold???

Ayn Rant

February 1st, 2012
6:54 am

Big money talks! It talks trash of course, but that’s what Republican voters want to hear – slander, ridicule, exaggerations, myths, and lies.

When the mud-slinging is over, Mitt will have to talk about the issues of the nation. Then, he’ll discover that he’s selling from the empty wagon of Republican policies: lower taxes for the asset strippers and money hoarders, measures to save Social Security by killing it, replacing Medicare with a private insurance scheme that will cost each senior $6,000 more per year, removing consumer safety, worker safety, and environment protection regulations, unfettering the financial sector for another wild rollercoaster ride with the nation’s economy.

reebok

February 1st, 2012
7:11 am

John Kerry, I mean Mitt Romney, is going to get his clocked cleaned in the GE by Pres Obama. Hopefully we’ve seen the last of Gingrich on the national stage…he’s frightening.

Skip

February 1st, 2012
7:15 am

All hail the guy that lost to the guy that lost to Obama.

ragnar danneskjold

February 1st, 2012
7:21 am

Never end an essay with a threat: “Now, we’ll almost certainly see an effort from the establishment figures who campaigned hard for him in Florida to bring this race to a close.” I am reconciling myself to a Romney nomination, but it would be easier for me if Romney closed the deal himself, without “help” from the establishment figures, most of whom I detest,

Joel Edge

February 1st, 2012
7:31 am

“John Kerry, I mean Mitt Romney,…..”
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

Joe The Plumber too.

February 1st, 2012
8:11 am

I think the GOP is moving closer to a brokered convention. Time will tell.

Karl Marx

February 1st, 2012
8:29 am

The GOP should change it’s name to RINO. That pretty much sums up todays Republicans.

Joel Edge

February 1st, 2012
8:46 am

Here’s a suggestion. We all write in Herman Cain in November. If nothing else, we get to watch the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the media all c@#p themselves at the same time.

tom

February 1st, 2012
8:48 am

Bring this race to a close? Oh, I hope not. The Daily Show and the Colbert Report would have nothing to report on if that were to happen. They regularly slash both Romney and Gingrich.

Finn McCool

February 1st, 2012
8:50 am

Republicans still don’t have anyone who can unseat Obama. Gonna be a landslide in November. Democrats may even take back the house.

ByteMe

February 1st, 2012
9:01 am

Ain’t gonna be no “party unity”…. Newt’s pisssssed!

Aquagirl

February 1st, 2012
9:10 am

I think the GOP is moving closer to a brokered convention. Time will tell.

I love the smell of desperation in the morning. It smells like….well, desperation.

Newt got his @$$ handed to him. Why that should result in a brokered convention is a complete mystery. Maybe there’s some obscure GOP rule about giving angry married male evangelicals extra delegates, did I miss that one?

jconservative

February 1st, 2012
9:27 am

Kyle, I agree with your thinking on this “race”.

But Romney may be dreaming if he believes he will have a united party. As the last two years have shown, the Republicans are not united in a their solutions.

jt

February 1st, 2012
9:33 am

“Romney’s win in Florida sets up last gasp for the not-Romneys”
.
More like the last gasp of the GOP.
.
There is no such thing as a FORMER Ron Paul supporter.
And their numbers grow everyday.
.

Jefferson

February 1st, 2012
9:34 am

Well I guess you folk are just gonna hold your nose and settle on the Yankee tycoon.

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
9:35 am

“Republicans still don’t have anyone who can unseat Obama. Gonna be a landslide in November. Democrats may even take back the house.”

A monkey could unseat Obama.

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
9:37 am

“All hail the guy that lost to the guy that lost to Obama.”

Yep. I doubt Mitt will lose to Obozo in November. Obozo lost the independent vote and the swing states are all pissed off at Democrats.

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
9:38 am

“some of the most conservative ones? — staying home.”

In a normal year, yes. There’s too much at stake for Obozo to stay in office.

redneckbluedog

February 1st, 2012
9:53 am

All Romney has to do is denounce Mormonism the way Obama denounced Jeremiah Wright and he will win…The difference is that Romney won’t do it…He’s in it too deep…and that’s why they say it is a cult…It affects your good judgement…

redneckbluedog

February 1st, 2012
9:55 am

Ron Paul and Gary Johnson would be very strong candidates in my book….but their policies on immigration are JUST TO EXTREME..!!! In the wrong direction…!!!!

redneckbluedog

February 1st, 2012
9:58 am

Do what??????
February 1st, 2012
9:37 am
Yep. I doubt Mitt will lose to Obozo in November. Obozo lost the independent vote and the swing states are all pissed off at Democrats.
——————————————————-
You’re letting what you want to happen cloud what is actually happening. Obama is tied with Romney among independents…with Obama slightly leading due to Rommey’s unfavorables…

redneckbluedog

February 1st, 2012
10:02 am

Justin Smith Morrill, a Republican, authored the Morrill Act, which made plural marriage illegal. Abraham Lincoln signed it in 1862.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

February 1st, 2012
10:06 am

Election in November sets up last gasp for the anti-American, anti-free-market Obozo
5:05 am February 1, 2012, by Kyle Wingfield
———

Americans will elect the non-Obozo

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

February 1st, 2012
10:08 am

Obama slightly leading due to Rommey’s unfavorables
——-

Isn’t it hilarious how the libtards ignore Obozo’s huge unfavorables?

BW

February 1st, 2012
10:40 am

Kyle

When can we get back to the huge issues we have regarding fiscal concerns? Literature from the CBO suggests that allowing ALL the Bush-era tax cuts to expire would allow the deficit to largely right itself within a decade but would drive economic growth next year to a projected 1.1%. It would be good if whoever is President in 2013 comes up with a plan that will pass Congress of course to lower all rates while nixing all deductions therefore simplifying the tax code and allowing more revenue. I have yet to really hear Mitt’s plan to do anything like this due to his primary battles but he needs to expound on his economic ideas thoroughly during the general. Then we can start to rectify the entitlement funding issues. I know that’s alot to ask of mere mortals but solving those issues will allow the US to grow and our fiscal picture to become much brighter without undergoing the fiscal austerity measure of the European Union.

BW

February 1st, 2012
10:41 am

Lil Barry (and Kyle)

That revised downward report was actually revise upward again….time to change your moniker

gm

February 1st, 2012
10:49 am

Do what??????

How does a man worth over 30 million and layed off thousands as a CEO and refuse to raise the min wage in his state care about middle class?
You idiots on the right that votes for Mitt are the monkeys.

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
10:51 am

“You’re letting what you want to happen cloud what is actually happening. Obama is tied with Romney among independents…with Obama slightly leading due to Rommey’s unfavorables…”

What’s funny is you don’t realize that after Romney secures the nomination his poll numbers will jump. People are waiting to see who the nominee is.

Make sense or did I talk over your head again?

Dusty

February 1st, 2012
10:52 am

Say it isn’t so. We will end up with one moneybags fighting another moneybags.

Romney is winning by way of the most funds. Obama will do the same thing. Democrats will turn out in force like they did before, still hollering Bush invectives and demanding more handouts.

Then we are back to broken ObamaCare, bigger debts, more failing stimuli, no budgets, and frequent fancy vacations. Even the possibility of more Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

I hope Newt revives. He’s got the fighting spirit if not the money. We need the spirit. Our country cannot operate without it but it is being killed by this administration.

Jefferson

February 1st, 2012
10:52 am

I belive GA will vote for Newt, another yankee. This is the state of the state.

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
10:52 am

“How does a man worth over 30 million and layed off thousands as a CEO and refuse to raise the min wage in his state care about middle class?”

Because minimum wage jobs aren’t meant to be careers, gm.

Explain how Obozo, being a millionaire, is attacking another millionaire for having millions of dollars?

Kyle Wingfield

February 1st, 2012
10:53 am

BW: Actually, the report doesn’t really say the deficit would right itself. Even if taxes were raised, only the “primary deficit” — which excludes interest payments on the debt — would be closed by the end of the decade. But those payments are made in real dollars just like all other payments, so that’s an artificial, meaningless distinction. The national debt would still rise by another $3 trillion over the next 10 years.

The more important things to note are: a) as you pointed out, raising taxes would choke economic growth to an even worse level than we experienced last year; and b) that rosiest of scenarios also assumes that Congress will make spending cuts it’s never been willing to make (e.g., by forgoing the Medicare “doc fix”). A scenario in which taxes rise but spending isn’t cut results in $6 trillion in debt over the next 10 years.

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
10:54 am

“I belive GA will vote for Newt, another yankee. This is the state of the state.”

You can always move to Obama’s state of Illinois and go bankrupt.

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
10:55 am

“Democrats will turn out in force like they did before

And independents will turn out for Romney.

Jefferson

February 1st, 2012
10:57 am

Raising taxes won’t automatically choke growth, that can’t be proven. Why does anyone think the GOP will stop spending, they didn’t last time they controlled everything, now did they ?

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
10:59 am

“Raising taxes won’t automatically choke growth, that can’t be proven. ”

See: Great Depression.

See: Jimmy Carter.

See: George HW Bush.

“Why does anyone think the GOP will stop spending,”

Because they are held accountable by the voters.

UGA 1999

February 1st, 2012
11:01 am

Do what???? Well we DO know that Obama will not stop spending!! He has proven it over the past three years.

BW

February 1st, 2012
11:02 am

Do What??

Given that all Southern states and Plains states are going to send a Republican to Congress, how are they being held accountable?….all they have to do is lie during the primary and then fall in line once they get to Washington

gm

February 1st, 2012
11:03 am

Do what??????

Because minimum wage jobs aren’t meant to be careers, gm.

Tell that to grown people trying to support their familes when thats all they can make.
Obama millions are not close to Romney who earned his money closing down and laying off thousands of middle class workers, and lets not forget about the jobs he helped sent over seas, what a hypocrite.
Obama team has so much fotage of this guy flip floping, swiss accounts, the job creater, this is why his state was ranked 46 in job creation, this is not going to be close.

Kyle Wingfield

February 1st, 2012
11:03 am

Jefferson: That’s CBO’s conclusion. If you have a problem with it, then do as I do when I disagree with CBO and explain why its methodology is flawed.

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
11:04 am

“Given that all Southern states and Plains states are going to send a Republican to Congress, how are they being held accountable?”

Because none of them are going bankrupt due to spending.

“all they have to do is lie during the primary and then fall in line once they get to Washington”

As do Democrats. See: Pelosi, Reid and Obozo.

Ernest T. Bass

February 1st, 2012
11:07 am

BW

February 1st, 2012
11:08 am

Kyle

I agree that all entitlement spending measures will continue to be toxic conversation. This is an area where real compromise needs to occur which means it’s not going to happen. In regards to spending…we know that the non-discretionary spending is entitlements, national defense, and interest payments on the debt. Unless we allow some additional revenue and at least slow the rate of increase in entitlement spending, we are in trouble. I don’t think that you can immediately actually cut entitlement spending as more and more baby boomers are coming into Social Security and Medicare ages but something drastic will have to done to people in my demographic, that lovely 18-35 group.

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
11:09 am

“Tell that to grown people trying to support their familes when thats all they can make.”

If you’re using a minimum wage job to support your family, something is seriously wrong with you.

“Obama millions are not close to Romney”

Romney made his money the hard way. Obama made his from book sales and speeches. Just wait, Obama will be as rich as Clinton who made $76 million last year.

“Obama team has so much fotage of this guy flip floping, swiss accounts, the job creater, this is why his state was ranked 46 in job creation, this is not going to be close.”

Obama never created one single job. I’d go with the guy who actually ran companies than the guy who never had a real job in his life.

gm

February 1st, 2012
11:09 am

UGA 1999

I will take Obama spending on Americans any day over Bush, billions spent buidling up Irg and taking care of their country , did not hear a word from the hypocrites on the right,

Do what??????

February 1st, 2012
11:09 am

“Test Post”

Profound, Ernest. Profound.