Once again, the polls were pretty close. Mitt Romney’s ground game carried him to overperform. Gingrich underperformed. A 10 point advantage became 14, and Romney approached an absolute majority closer than I imagined he could.
Romney sweeps Florida’s at-large delegates and takes a 66-25 lead among pledged delegates.
The key story of Tuesday night was that the gender gap returned for Gingrich. He’d closed it up in South Carolina, but it returned in Florida. If South Carolina was a fluke, then Gingrich has to find a way to start winning over Republican women if he’s to have a chance going forward.
I think Super Tuesday is zero hour for Gingrich. He has to win states outright in March. But, the problem may be surviving that long in a pro-Romney February. Nevada and Colorado are Mormon country, and that community is backing Romney. Michigan was Romney’s big win last time, and there’s no reason to expect different this time. Gingrich isn’t even on the ballot in Missouri.
I won’t call the race over, but Gingrich is running out of options.