Analysis: Republican Romney Back On Track In White House Race

Less than a week after a stinging setback in South Carolina, Romney moved ahead of rival Newt Gingrich again in Florida polls on Thursday and turned in his strongest debate performance yet in a seesawing Republican presidential race.

Three new polls showed Romney taking a solid 7- or 8-point lead in Florida hours before his confident and aggressive debate performance put Gingrich on the defensive repeatedly in their final showdown ahead of Tuesday's state primary.

But a Florida victory for Romney would put him in a strong position to capture the nomination, with the primary map tilting in his favor in February with contests in seven states where he has the potential advantage.

"If Mitt Romney wins in Florida, he'll be on cruise control all the way to Super Tuesday," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said. Nine states hold contests on "Super Tuesday," on March 6.

"Florida is a make-or-break state for Gingrich because he needs to win to get his momentum back and restock his campaign coffers," O'Connell said. "He is spending everything he's got to compete with Romney in Florida."

Read more from John Whitesides at Reuters


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published this page in In The News 2012-01-27 10:00:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy