Front-runner Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney came ever closer to sealing his party’s nomination at last night’s primary.
Romney locked up Florida with an impressive 46% of the vote, a full 14% ahead of his closest rival, Newt Gingrich, and more than 3 times Rick Santorum (13%), the breakout candidate that (eventually) beat Romney in the first primary. Ron Paul, the libertarian favorite, struggled with a measly 7% of the overall vote, which could hurt his chances of being given a coveted speaking role at the nomination convention in Tampa, Florida.
Despite Romney’s solid win, New Gingrich is fighting on, in what many analysts have called the most negative campaign ever.
46 States to Go!Donate today and help us defeat Obamneycare. 1 million dollar money bomb. newt.org/obamneycare/in…
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) February 1, 2012
A ruthless approach to politics is nothing new to the former Speaker of the House, who famously used the “scorched earth” strategy to halt then-President Bill Clinton’s progressive agenda.
The negative campaigning could cost the eventual Republican nominee the presidency come next November, as the historically negative campaigning may have caused Florida’s very low-turnout, down 14% from 2008. If Romney is to become president, he’ll not only have to win over Republicans, but independents as well.