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Florida Preview: Mitt Walks Away With It


According to FiveThirtyEight, looks like Mitt is certain to win in Florida tonight…

The support for Gingrich had the floor drop out of it for two reasons. First, Romney has been outspending like crazy has gone gone incredibly negative. Second, Romney was better at the last debate. Had their been an additional debate scheduled, Newt might have been able to mount a comeback, but that doesn’t look likely now.

Interesting to see how the debates are actually perceived as having an effect in this primary cycle. Perhaps all 1,037 were worth it.

Here’s some more about what this means for Gingrich…

If the results are close enough that it takes some time to declare a winner in Florida, Mr. Gingrich might be able to declare a moral victory of sorts, chalking up the result to an uncharacteristically poor performance in the debates and to Mr. Romney’s substantial advantage in advertising dollars. These excuses are not necessarily convincing ones, but they are liable to be given more credence by the news media the longer it takes to call the state.

Barring a win or a close call, Mr. Gingrich’s ability to spin the outcome might depend on the extent to which he is able to point toward any signs of life in the exit polls. One reason that Mr. Gingrich’s victory in South Carolina seemed so persuasive was that he beat Mr. Romney among almost every demographic cohort. If Mr. Romney’s victory instead appeared to result from groups like Cuban Americans that have more presence in Florida than in other states, Mr. Gingrich might make a credible claim toward being poised to rebound in subsequent contests.

More as it develops…