Defying the expectations of the pundits, John McCain cruised to a relatively easy win in the GOP Florida primary last night solidifying his position as Republican front runner and setting the table for a potential nomination clinching night on February 5th Super Tuesday:
We have a ways to go, but we're getting close" to the nomination, he said later in an appearance before cheering supporters.Hillary Clinton took the currently meaningless Democratic party although that may change if the Democratic Convention reverses the decision of the Democratic National Committee and decides to seat Florida delegates, barred from attending because of their early primary was held in defiance of party rules.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was the Democratic winner in a primary held in defiance of national rules that drew no campaigning and awarded no delegates.
The victory was worth 57 Republican National Convention delegates for McCain, a winner-take-all haul that catapulted him ahead of Romney in that category. Romney, who has spent millions of dollars of his personal fortune to run for the White House, vowed to stay in the race.
"At a time like this, America needs a president in the White House who has actually had a job in the real economy," the former businessman told supporters in St. Petersburg.
Once again McCain was assisted by independent voters who decided to get off the fence and vote for him. Even though the Florida primary was a "closed" primary, open to GOP voters only, independents needed only to register 29 days before the primary in order to vote Republican when they got to the polls. Those independents made up 17% of the eventual GOP total and McCain garnered 44% of them to Romney's 23%.
This offset Romney's strength among conservative voters as the former governor of Massachusetts got 37% of the GOP right compared to McCain's 29%. McCain got nearly half the moderate and liberal voters who made up 39% of the total primary vote.
The American Thinker's Political Correspondent Rich Baehr, appearing on my radio show last night, doesn't see a path to the nomination for Romney at this point. McCain is ahead in so many Super Tuesday states that it is probable he will win so many delegates that night as to make his lead insurmountable.
It appears that John McCain has an open road to the nomination. And barring some untoward incident or other issue, his victory would seem inevitable.