Mitt Romney will win Florida tonight. The victory is already locked in. Early voting, etc. have helped. Here’s what I’m looking for in Florida.
- The margin of victory by Romney. Polling has Romney between 10 and 12 points ahead. So if he is 9 points ahead or less, given that he has one hell of a ground game here, that suggests Gingrich was able to fire up a ground game. If it is more than 10 to 12 points, which is what I expect, the road ahead becomes even more difficult because Romney has had more time to set up shop in the next few states.
- Do Santorum and Gingrich combined beat Romney? Polls suggest it will be close. I’m guessing, before polls close, that they will not outmatch Romney combined.
- Where do evangelicals go in the Florida Panhandle. Polls won’t close there until 8pm ET tonight. Do they split evenly, go for Romney, or mix between Gingrich and Santorum. North Florida is often referred to as an extension of South Alabama and South Georgia. We could get some indicators for future campaign plans in the South from the Panhandle.
- Will we finally see a majority female vote with women voting against Gingrich? Iowa (I think) and South Carolina both had more men turn out and the women in South Carolina broke for Gingrich. I’m pretty sure we’ll see a high turnout for women and they will go for Romney.
- Do hispanic voters vote as a demographic group or like other voters with shared concerns. The media often treats racial groups as common voting blocks, with reason, but I am interested to see how it shakes out tonight.
Mitt Romney will win. By how much is the big question.