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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why Romney Won Florida

updated 2/2

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.