To say Mitt Romney had a big win Tuesday night was an understatement. Exit polls show he carried every major demographic category: women, Hispanics and seniors. Among evangelicals, conservatives and tea party voters he essentially tied Gingrich, who won among those who considered themselves most conservative.
The dark spot for Romney: Deep South voters of North Florida (plus the cracker counties of Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties) sided with Gingrich, albeit narrowly
A few bullet points, which exclude Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, who didn’t win any counties:
Percentage split: 46% Romney, 32% Gingrich
Total Romney votes: 774,942 (73,181 more than McCain in ’08)**
Total Gingrich votes: 533,038
Romney’s lead: 241,904
Total Romney counties: 33
Total Gingrich counties: 34
Biggest Gingrich county: Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa’s stats: Gingrich by 1,780 votes, 41%-33% over Romney
Biggest Romney county: Miami-Dade
Miami-Dade’s stats: Romney by 39,259 votes, 61%-27% over Gingrich.
Significance of Miami-Dade: More than double Gingrich’s entire victory margin in 34 counties.
Counties where Romney carried a majority: Palm Beach, Collier, Sumter, Indian River, Sarasota, and Martin.
**As said in a few previous posts, the Republican Party of Florida has a bit of a public-relations mess on its hands. About 280,000 fewer Republicans voted in this primary than in 2008, despite the fact that GOP registration is growing. That’s a 14 percent drop-off.
A major difference: There isn’t a property tax-cut measure on the ballot as there was in 2008. Also, by Election Day, the result of this race was not in doubt, whereas 2008 was a more dynamic, exciting race in the final days.
2008 voters: 1,949,498
2012 voters: 1,669,462
The big drop-off makes Romney’s win all the more remarkable. Transfer the 775,942 Romney votes of this election to the 2008 and he would have won that, too.
Note: these results are not official, they are final as of this morning. Numbers are subject to slightly change