What Florida Means
Our experts weigh in on the result, and the road ahead.

Newt Gingrich addresses his supporters in Orlando following his Florida defeat, January 31, 2012.


Tonight’s results are no surprise to most of us, considering how much money was spent in this state. While any of these candidates would be better than Barack Obama, the Republican electorate is still deeply divided and the Florida results show that more people voted for another candidate than for the winner, Mitt Romney.

It is obvious that money has had a huge impact in Florida. What is concerning is that most of this money is being used to tear down other candidates with negative advertising. The candidates need to stay positive and let Americans know what they are going to do to get us out of this financial mess.

Each candidate has vowed to continue in this horse race, and I hope that this doesn’t divide Republicans even more. If the Republican base remains divided, it only benefits the Democrats. Republicans need to come together, remain positive, and focus on making President Obama a one-term president.

— Amy Kremer is the Chairman of

To the extent that Mitt Romney needed to prove, at least once, that he could garner close to a majority, even of Republicans, Florida was a big win, especially by the margin he produced. But I am disinclined to accept the conventional wisdom that Florida is dispositive. In fact, I don’t even understand it.

Even if it has been historically true, many other historical truths have been shattered in the last few years. Regardless, an intense primary contest will continue because a) neither Newt Gingrich nor Rick Santorum, let alone Ron Paul, appear to have any intention of dropping out and, b) their respective supporters don’t want them to. The nastiness of the Florida campaign ensures that, and also that we are far from healing, sadly. The media and other “experts” are always so sure about which states matter the most and who is or isn’t electable — which is remarkable, given their track record. It’s ludicrous to allow a handful of states to decide this whole thing. Besides, it’s healthy for the process to continue because, assuming some of these guys don’t kill each other (figuratively), they’ll grow and we’ll get a better idea of how electable each of them will be in the general. 

One of the central arguments advanced by Romney supporters is his electability — as opposed to other things that might inspire us. I have questioned that assumption too, and, if a vigorous contest continues, it might help us determine whether Romney’s support is real or too soft. There is still a strong non-Romney sentiment out there and we need to see how it plays out, especially if one of the other two (Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum) were to drop out, which could change the dynamics overnight. So, as long as Newt and/or Rick can raise sufficient money to proceed, let’s march on and see where it takes us.

— David Limbaugh is a nationally syndicated columnist.