Why did Romney win Florida by a big margin?
Chuck Todd et al write at MSNBC:
Money and the debates mattered. In South Carolina, Romney and the top pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future outspent Gingrich and his allies by a nearly 2-to-1 margin ($4.4 million vs. $2.4 million). But in Florida, the margin was 4-to-1 ($15.9 million vs. $4 million). As for the debates, Gingrich -- unlike in South Carolina -- had two poor performances and Romney had two strong ones. Among Florida voters who said the debates were important to their vote, Romney won those folks, 42%-34%.From the exit poll:
- Issue gap: 62 percent said the economy was the most important issue, and these voters supported Romney 52-30 over Gingrich.
- Gender gap: Romney led Gingrich 41-36 among men, but 52-28 among women.
- Ethnic gap: Among whites, it was 45-32 for Romney but among Latinos -- 14 percent of the GOP electorate, it was 54-29.
- Ideology gap: Conservatives were 69 percent of the electorate, and favored Romney 41-37. Among moderates and liberals, it was 59-20.
- Religion gap: White evangelical born-again Christians favored Gingrich 38-36. But they were only 40 percent of the electorate, compared with 64 percent in South Carolina. The remaining 60 percent of Florida GOP voters went for Romney by a 2-1 margin: 54-27.
- Electability gap: The most frequent answer for most important candidate quality was "Can Defeat Obama," and the 45 percent of voters who chose this option went for Romney 58-33.