John McCain Wins Florida Republican Primary Over Romney, Super Tuesday Next

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 30, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John McCain Wins Florida Republican Primary Over Romney, Super Tuesday Next Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 30,

Tallahassee, FL ( — John McCain won the Florida Republican primary on Tuesday night with a win over Mitt Romney and some political observers say it catapults him into the front-runner status for the Republican nomination. The two finished ahead of pro-abortion GOP hopeful Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

With 95 percent of the votes tallied, McCain picked up the support of 36 percent of the Republicans in Florida compared with 31 percent. Giuliani had the backing of 15 percent and Huckabee received 14 percent of the Republican vote.

Ron Paul received three percent of the Florida GOP vote and Fred Thompson, who has already pulled out of the race, got one percent.

Exit polling data showed McCain dominated in Florida among both men and women and most all of the age categories of Republican voters.

Looking at the issue of abortion, 52 percent of Florida Republicans say abortion should be illegal while 43 percent said it should stay legal.

Mitt Romney led among pro-life voters with 35 percent of the vote compared to 29 percent for McCain and 21 percent for Huckabee. While pro-life voters liked McCain and Huckabee better, McCain, who opposes abortion and wants Roe v. Wade overturned, led with 45 percent of the pro-abortion vote compared with 26 percent for Romney and 19 percent for Giuliani.

The exit polling data found 18 percent of Florida Republicans say abortion should always be illegal and 35 percent say most abortions should be prohibited. About 30 percent say most abortions should be allowed while just 14 percent say all abortions should be legal.

Huckabee won the vote among those who want all abortions illegal while Romney won among those who want most abortions illegal.

Florida Republicans backed McCain in part because they felt he had the best chance to keep the White House against pro-abortion Democrats Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Some 46 percent of Republican voters say McCain has the best shot against the Democrats, 33 percent said Romney would do best. Just 11 percent named Giuliani and only 5 percent said Huckabee had the best chance of winning the general election.