The Florida primary went as expected with Mitt Romney coming in first. But I don’t think people expected it to be by such a large margin, allowing Romney to beat Newt Gingrich comfortably by 14 percentage points. Florida is a big state with a lot of electoral votes (29), it is a diverse state much like America, and it will be a battleground state come the general election. In short, it’s important in the primary and even more important in the general. Some suggest the candidate who wins Florida will go on to win the nomination, but I’m not convinced just yet. There have been way too many ups and downs already and we’re only four states in. The reality is there are still 46 states left who still need to have their say. Nonetheless, a big congratulations is in order to Mitt the Moderate.
Ron Paul finished in last place, again (6% behind Santorum). Every candidate has won something thus far except Paul. Santorum was eventually declared winner of the Iowa Caucus. Gingrich won South Carolina. And Romney won New Hampshire and Florida. I’ve heard various pundits make the case that for Paul it’s not about the White House at this point anymore, but about collecting as many delegates as possible, ultimately growing his influence and cause, which will eventually get handed down to his son, Rand Paul, the popular senator from Kentucky. What this means is Paul supporters are backing a guy who is not only in it, to NOT win it, but he’s so far behind where even if he was, it wouldn’t matter. In other words, if you vote for Paul you’re voting for a guy, who in the end, will win nothing. While that may sound harsh to some Paul supporters, it’s proving to be true before our very eyes.
As for the people’s champ, Rick Santorum, he’s still going strong despite finishing third in Florida. He picked up a nice endorsement this week in Michelle Malkin, founder of leading political news website HotAir.com. His campaign raised $4.5 million in the month of January, which is being put to use in other states. He has a Super PAC supporting him and running ads currently in Missouri for the upcoming non-binding primary on February 7th (see below). While this may be the least important of the primaries taking place this month, it’s an opening for Santorum to regain momentum as the Missouri ballot will consist of only three candidates; Santorum, Romney, and Paul. Just as in Virginia, Gingrich failed to qualify to be on the state’s ballot. A win in Missouri for Santorum will keep him the game.