Romney takes Florida

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Orlando, Fla. (Pic by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr)

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has won the Florida GOP primary 46 percent to 32 percent over Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum was third with about 13 percent. The victory was unsurprising, as Romney had been leading in the majority of polls leading up to today’s vote.

The Romney camp had outspent his rival Newt Gingrich (who had been leading in polls prior to a dismal debate showing in Jacksonville) by leaps and bounds — $15.4 million to $3.4 million through Monday, according to political sources monitoring the ad war.

Though he has been criticized for past debate performances, Romney has lately been firing hard at his opponents — particularly at Gingrich. During a recent stop in Fort Myers, Gingrich called those attacks “pathetic,” and promised supporters that he would stay on the campaign trail through the August party convention in Tampa, a move Romney says is desperate.

“That’s usually the indication that you think you’re going to lose,” he told reporters yesterday. “When you say, ‘I’m going to go on no matter what happens,’ that’s usually not a good sign.”

The Romney campaign includes at least a few Floridians: Jacksonville’s Susie Wiles, the former campaign manager for Gov. Rick Scott, joined the Romney team after leaving the Jon Huntsman campaign. Wiles’ husband, veteran Republican advance man Lanny Wiles, is also backing Romney.

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Virginia Chamlee

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