Romney takes Florida primary

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Crowds of Mitt Romney supporters gathered together in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday night chanting, “Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go!” as they waited for an official victory speech, and they were not disappointed.

After 10 grueling days in Florida, with constantly fluctuating polls and 96 percent of precincts reporting, Romney came out ahead with 46 percent of the vote. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich came in second with 32 percent, Rick Santorum pulled in 13 percent and Ron Paul 7 percent.

Many students are glad Romney was able to move past his loss in South Carolina earlier this month, and make such a strong comeback in Florida.

“Many were worried the South Carolina [primary] would be a turning point but I think Florida proved that wrong,” said Ryan Greenburg, a senior from Atlanta, majoring in business strategy. “I think [Romney’s win] will add momentum to his campaign and move past the difficulties that were seen in South Carolina.”

Despite his loss in South Carolina, Romney’s strong debate performances in Florida added to the momentum of his campaign in The Sunshine State, and some students are impressed with the direction it’s headed.

“I think that Romney has consistently focused on uniting the Republican party and preparing them for the national election and to defeat the incumbent Obama,” Greenburg said. “It will be intriguing to see how Romney continues as his popularity in the southern states has continued to increase despite the loss in South Carolina.”

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While Romney’s tactics are gaining support, students say Gingrich’s approach to the presidential campaign are only hurting him.

“[Romney’s] heaviest opposition, Newt Gingrich, though credible and a powerful debater, has focused on bringing down the Republican competition,” Greenburg said. “I believe that American Republicans desire to become a united front.”

Although this is not the first time his campaign has dropped in the polls, Gingrich has already begun to see the effects of poor debate performance last week and some believe he will have to start making changes if he wants to remain a competitive candidate.

“I think [Gingrich] needs to focus more on how he’s going to compete against Obama, as opposed to how he’s going to compete against Romney,” said Lauren Walker, a junior from Draper majoring in communication disorders. “I feel like he’s just playing a mean game and promoting himself with rumors. In the general election, that won’t get him far. He needs to start advertising himself as president.”

Romney said he also felt as though leadership campaigns are looking in the wrong direction and promised his campaign would be different.

“Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses,” Romney said in his victory speech Tuesday night. “This campaign is about more than replacing a president — it’s about saving the soul of America. This election, let’s fight for the America we love.”

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