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McCain's 'tenuous' coalition in Florida

A "strategy memo" gives Republican Mitt Romney's campaign latest spin on Florida's presidential primary: if only a few more Rush Limbaughs had gone to the polls, he would have won. Also note the reference to McCain's $2 million on paid media, which fails to mention Romney heavily outspending him over the course of the campaign.

"The coalitions that John McCain assembled in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida have been strikingly similar - and are strikingly tenuous. Public polling shows McCain ahead in many states, but we are now in a two-man race and a few points' movement among conservatives is all that's needed to tip the scales in favor of Gov. Romney. In Florida, a state where McCain spent nearly $2 million on paid media in the final two weeks; had the endorsement of the state's sitting Republican governor, the Republican senator, and five GOP congressmen; and benefited from an electorate where one in three voters was over the age of 65, he failed to come within 8 points of Gov. Romney among conservative voters.

"In fact, according to exit poll data, if Gov. Romney had won conservatives in Florida 41%-25% over McCain, rather than 37%-29% - just a four-point shift - he would have won the state. Former Giuliani and Thompson supporters in February 5th states will be looking for a new candidate over the next week, and it will not take very many conservatives moving to Romney to disrupt McCain's victory formula."