Mitt Romney in commanding lead as Florida polls open Florida’s Republican voters go to the polls on Tuesday in a high-stakes presidential primary election, with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney holding a commanding double-digit lead in polls over rival Newt Gingrich.
Florida is the largest state to hold a presidential primary so far this year and a Romney victory would give him a big boost in the state-by-state battle to decide who will face President Barack Obama in the November election.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. local time. Most of the state is on Eastern Time, except the western Panhandle region, which is on Central Time and where polls will close an hour later.
And because it is the first primary, it can make or break a contender’s momentum.
In other words, New Hampshire may be small, but its influence on U.S. politics is huge.
So what will it take for Republican presidential wannabes to win this key primary? Well first off, the nominees better forget all that stuff about wining votes through new-fangled notions like social media.
To be successful in New Hampshire requires old-fashioned “retail” campaigning, namely lots of baby-kissing, hand-shaking and Town Hall-attending. Simply put, “Granite Staters”, as they call themselves, want to see candidates up close.
So maybe it was a mistake for Ron Paul to take umbrage with the badgering he was getting on CNN about racist newsletters that were published under his name 20 years ago. Under cross-examination by CNN’s Gloria Borger, Paul got increasingly upset at the questioning and finally unclipped his microphone and left. Bad idea, because the storm-out is sure to get more attention than the original interview would have. And that in turn will attract more attention to the newsletters, which Paul has been trying to explain away for a decade or more.
Robert Fulford: “The 2012 Republican presidential field is the worst lineup of potential candidates I’ve seen in my lifetime.” Do you agree? Jesse Kline: Ron Paul is the one candidate with no sacred cows Terence Corcoran: Romney almost walks the walk Jonathan Kay: If Huntsman loses, something is wrong with America Rex Murphy: Newt Gingrich is in tune with America
Graphic: The Republican nomination race so far As new Republican contenders have emerged, taken off and then crashed in the polls, Mitt Romney’s support has remained one of the few constants in the nomination race. And yet the GOP can’t seem to fully embrace him. The National Post’s graphics team takes a look at the ups and downs of the race so far.