Forty-three percent said that McCain’s endorsement from Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, was important to their decision, and 51% of those who said it was important went for McCain, 23% for Romeny. Another large demographic for McCain was Hispanic GOP voters and McCain took 50% of their vote. Pollsters speculated that Cuban born Sen. Mel Martinez’s endorsement of McCain helped move this demographic.
Reports proliferated rumors early in the evening (after Rudy Giuliani’s dismal numbers did not grow beyond third place) of an endorsement by Giuliani of McCain. Giuliani’s campaign has not announced his withdraw from the race nor confirmed or denied the endorsement. But FOX News reported last night that Republican officials, speaking under anonymity, have confirmed that Rudy will endorse McCain perhaps as soon as today before the debate in
Another endorsement for McCain from a moderate Republican, and a presidential candidate (the first of the GOP frontrunners to endorse a running mate) could be viewed around the nation as the establishment lining up with McCain. This could prove to be a huge boost for McCain in the runup to Super Tuesday.
In his victory speech McCain thanked “Florida Republicans, for bringing a former
McCain may have won without the edge of Independents, but he obviously did not get a substantial conservative vote. According to exit polls, those who considered themselves very conservative went for Romney by 47% compared to 20% who went for McCain. Those who consider themselves “conservative” again picked Romney by 37% compared to McCain’s 29%. Sixty percent of voters in
The military vote in
Final exit polls showed that 27% of Republican voters in
“Almost but not quite” said Romney as he conceded defeat. Romney is still relying on the polls’ findings that voters are now viewing the economy as the biggest issue in the campaign. He boasted “The economy is in my DNA.” Unfortunately
Knocking McCain, now his toughest competitor, Romney said, “We aren’t going to win
When asked about this statement Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fl) — a McCain supporter — said, “I think McCain is an agent of change and I think he is the kind of leader that can make it work.” On his endorsement of McCain he said “I made a choice to support McCain early. I struggled with whether or not I would make it public, I’m glad I did.”
In one week we can assume that a clear front runner may emerge from this pack. It is appearing to be a race between McCain and Romney. Going into Tsunami Tuesday where 21 states (the largest-ever simultaneous number of state primaries) will choose their nominee, there are 1,081 delegates up for grabs.
Candidates are limited to where they can campaign with only 6 days (after the debate) to rally voters before the Tuesday contest. Unfortunately this means it will be up to the establishment media to push for candidates. With the help of the New York Times endorsing McCain other liberal media outlets may follow, — at least until McCain secures the Republican nomination (if he does). After that, he’ll no longer be the MSM’s “favorite son.”