Six Takeaways From Florida

And the results from Florida are

(Fox News) Romney received 46 percent of the Florida vote. Gingrich had 32 percent, followed by Rick Santorum with 13 percent and Ron Paul with 7 percent.

Romney won all 50 of Florida’s convention delegates.

The Politico’s Maggie Haberman, who has done a pretty good job in covering the GOP primaries, even for a liberal, I have to admit, provides 5 takeaways

1. Mitt Romney is once again running two campaigns – Romney’s election night speech, in which he mentioned Newt Gingrich only to congratulate him, left no doubt that Team Mitt is now heading into general election mode after a commanding victory in Florida.

The focus was almost entirely on President Barack Obama, whom Romney excoriated repeatedly.

2. February is uncharted territory – Newt Gingrich is not giving up. Neither is Rick Santorum. And Ron Paul is continuing with his delegate slog. (Gingrich will need a few big wins in Southern states, or at least strong showings)

3. Conservatives are still resisting Romney – No matter how heavily he won certain portions of Florida, the restored front-runner is still unable to lock down certain swaths of the GOP electorate.

4. Hispanic voters gave Romney a boost – Despite Gingrich’s potential appeal among Florida’s Hispanic immigrants, it was Romney who won more than half of the crucial voting bloc’s support.

5. There is no ‘new normal’ for campaigns – Gingrich has focused on running a nontraditional campaign, as he has put it, but certain time-honored rules still apply.

Which rules? Negative campaigning works. Ground games are important. And so is money.

And what of Santorum and RON PAUL!!!!11!!? Santorum is going to keep going, as well he should. There is still time for him to catch fire. As for Ron Paul, 7% is a pretty poor showing, considering he said he does great with seasoned citizens and all the military folks in Florida.

Takeaway #6 is that all four candidates, but, especially Newt and Mitt, need to dial back the negative ads and talk. They need to stop it, and ask the groups that support them to stop it. 92% of the ads were negative. The idea here, as all of them will tell you, is to defeat Obama and turn this country around. Repeal ObamaCare. Fix the economy. Get people working again. And create the atmosphere where people once again have disposable income. We’re almost 5 years out from the start of the recession. We’re well over 2 years out from the official end of the recession. Yet, there is complete stagnation in the economy. All the negativity may get one of these gents over the primary finish line, but will only help Obama come the general election.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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