Primary win in Florida gives Mitt Romney momentum for Nevada

Primary win in Florida gives Mitt Romney momentum for Nevada

February 2nd, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had an impressive win Tuesday in the Florida primary over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. He beat Gingrich 46 percent to 32 percent, with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gaining 13 percent of the votes and Texas Congressman Ron Paul getting 7 percent.

Was it a knockout blow to Gingrich? Did it assure the Republican nomination for Romney?

That remains to be seen. Certainly it gives Romney momentum headed into Saturday's caucuses in Nevada, a state considered friendly to him in part because of its large population of Mormons.

But Romney, who heavily outspent Gingrich on advertising in Florida, defeated Gingrich by an even wider margin in the New Hampshire primary, only to see Gingrich storm back for a strong win in South Carolina. And Santorum had a narrow win in the Iowa caucuses over Romney. In addition, no one has yet gotten more than 50 percent of the vote in any state.

Voters seem remarkably unsettled.

The disastrous policies of President Barack Obama -- evidenced in part by unemployment that is far higher than his administration said it would be if his "stimulus" passed -- are ample justification for making him a one-term president. But many Americans are not enthralled by the Republican prospects.

Romney has a commendable record in business -- something Obama is painfully lacking. But the medical reform Romney championed in Massachusetts was essentially the model on which costly, unconstitutional ObamaCare was based. That gives Republicans pause and raises questions about whether Romney can campaign effectively on the vital issue of repealing ObamaCare. Meanwhile, Gingrich helped create conditions for solid job creation when he was in Congress. But the thrice-married former speaker is struggling to get the support of women.

So it's on to Nevada and a few other February caucuses and primaries in states where Romney is seen as having an advantage. Then 10 states will vote on Super Tuesday, March 6.

If the contest is still hazy by then, Super Tuesday should almost certainly make things clearer.