Romney Confident, Newt To Press On As Florida Votes

Anticipating victory in Florida's game-changing Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, Mitt Romney looked ahead while his struggling rival Newt Gingrich vowed to press on with his White House quest.

Florida is the largest nominating contest so far this year and, with double-digit leads in statewide polls, Romney seemed headed for a big boost in the state-by-state battle to decide who will face Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama in the November general election.

If Romney wins as expected, it would mark a sharp reversal of fortune for Gingrich. The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives scored a shock upset victory over the former Massachusetts governor and private equity executive in the last primary, 10 days ago, in South Carolina.

The fight could easily go on until "Super Tuesday" on March 6, when Gingrich, who is from Georgia, could launch a concerted campaign for the southern states that will be up for grabs. Only some 15 percent of the delegates will be decided by then.

But a big Romney victory on Tuesday could leave even the determined Gingrich scrambling. "Double digits could really scare away potential donors who are looking to replenish Gingrich's coffers," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said.

Read more from Ros Krasny and Steve Holland at Reuters

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published this page in In The News 2012-01-31 18:30:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy