Florida Primary

5:06am

Fri January 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Live By Debate, Die By Debate: Gingrich Challenge To Romney Stalls Where It Began

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 8:10 am

On Thursday night in Jacksonville, Fla., Mitt Romney (right) went after Newt Gingrich from the start on topics such as immigration and colonizing the moon.
Matt Rourke AP

We still don't know who'll win the Florida primary Tuesday, but after the past two debates it seems far likelier to be Mitt Romney.

Why? Because Newt Gingrich had vaulted from the margins to the forefront of the Republican presidential race in South Carolina on the strength of two debate performances. And that weapon has ceased to work in his favor.

The NBC and CNN debates this week in Tampa and Jacksonville went a long way toward neutralizing the impression created by debates the previous week in Myrtle Beach and Charleston.

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10:24pm

Thu January 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum: No Money, No Organization, No Quit

Left to right: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney debate Thursday night in Jacksonville, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Rick Santorum may be running an anemic third in Republican presidential primary polls in Florida, but his influence in Tuesday's crucial Sunshine State contest – and perhaps beyond – continues to outpace his survey numbers.

His performance during Thursday's GOP debate in Jacksonville provided perhaps the best view yet of the former Pennsylvania senator's increasing potential to play spoiler (see: Mitt Romney) or savior (see: Mitt Romney), and to take his unlikely quest for the White House deeper into the primary season than anyone every predicted.

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10:01pm

Thu January 26, 2012
It's All Politics

In Florida, The Early Birds May Be The Deciders

Early voters cast ballots for the Republican primary in Miami on Monday.
Alan Diaz AP

From Pensacola to Miami, the Republican primary is in full swing. Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are blanketing the state with rallies and personal appearances. The airwaves are full of campaign ads.

But Jeanne Casserta has heard enough. With several days left to go in the campaign, she stopped by the library in Coral Springs this week to cast her vote. She said she's heard plenty from both the Romney and Gingrich campaigns.

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10:18am

Thu January 26, 2012
Presidential Race

The Baffling, Befuddling Primary Season

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 11:38 am

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign event at Paramount Printing in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It was so clear for a moment: Mitt Romney was in the lead in the presidential nomination race. Newt Gingrich was a distant second. Rick Santorum — the youthful candidate — was appealing to the socially conservative voters. And Ron Paul was hanging on.

Then things got weird.

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6:44am

Thu January 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Could The Crowd At The Final GOP Debate Make The Difference In Florida Vote?

Newt Gingrich greets supporters during a rally at Wings Plus in Coral Springs, Fla. on Jan. 25. The GOP candidates meet in Jacksonville Thursday night for a final debate before Tuesday's primary.
CARLINE JEAN MCT /Landov

As the Republican presidential hopefuls head into their final televised confrontation Thursday night at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville (at 8 p.m. ET on CNN), NPR's Ari Shapiro reports that the debate could sway the outcome of the close race.

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