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|Romney takes another step toward GOP nomination with Fla. win|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|February 01, 2012 12:18|
Shrugging off a bitter defeat in South Carolina just 10 days earlier, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney finished some 15 percentage points ahead of second place contender Newt Gingrich to claim victory in yesterday's Florida GOP presidential primary.
Republican voters in Florida overwhelmingly believe that Romney stands the best chance of defeating President Barack Obama in the November general election. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich finished with 31.9 percent, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Minn.) was third with 13.4 percent and Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tx.) rounded out the field with 7 percent of the total votes cast, according to the Associated Press.
Romney's march to the August GOP convention in Tampa was surely strengthened by his strong showing in Florida, one of the country's most important general election swing states.
During his acceptance speech, Romney downplayed the perceived inevitability of his nomination, and also reminded voters that he would not bring a pro-LGBT rights agenda to his White House:
“President Obama orders religious organizations to violate their conscience; I will defend religious liberty and overturn regulations that trample on our first freedom,” he said last night in Florida.
“I stand ready to lead this party and our nation,” he added.
The next contest in the primary season is the Nevada Caucus, which takes place Saturday, Feb. 4.
Top photo: Former Massacheuttes Gov. Mitt Romney (via Facebook)
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