profile of Mitt Romney on the campaign trail in Florida:If you haven’t read it already, then enjoy my colleague Ed Pilkington’s
Romney’s campaigning style is not as dire as it was four years ago, when he had all the panache of a donkey. This time round, his stump speech is still scripted to death, to the extent that once you have heard him deliver it a few times you can mouth along to it like a pop song. But he is loosened up, discarding tie and suit for jeans and gingham and with his wife, Ann, on his arm. Nonetheless, a nagging disconnect remains.
Ed also tackles the crucial “sacred Mormon underwear” question, via Romney’s friend and former US senator Bob Bennett:
I have to put to him the question about Romney that everyone wants to ask but few have the guts to do so. Of course he wears Mormon underpants every day, Bennett replies – they are a symbol of the covenants each member takes inside the temple.
It’s easy – just rank the four candidates and your best guess of the winner’s share of the vote. To help you decide, here’s some analysis from Cif America polling analyst Harry Enten – and here are some more forecasts:
• The RealClearPolitics polling average has Mitt Romney on 42%, Newt Gingrich on 29%, Rick Santorum on 13% and Ron Paul on 10%
• The Huffington Post’s Mark Blumenthal has Romney on 42%, Gingrich on 28%, Santorum on 12% and Ron Paul on 11%
• The New York Times’s 538 blog has Romney on 44%, Gingrich on 29%, Santorum on 12% and Ron Paul on 11%
So go ahead, it’s fun and there are prizes!
an avalanche of attack advertising and both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich accusing each other of dishonesty.Polls are now open and voting is underway in Florida’s Republican primary, the final day of a bruising campaign that has seen
Romney’s campaign and supporters have spent $16m on television ads, while Gingrich and his side has managed just $4m in response. To compensate, Gingrich spent yesterday on a statewide-tour, lambasting Romney’s record.
But the latest polls are unanimous: Romney enjoys leads ranging from high single digits to blow-out sized margins. The only question, it seems, is the final gap between the two men. A huge win by Romney could imperil Gingrich’s candidacy if voters and donors abandon him
There’s also a race for the bronze medal between Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, who are both on the ballot but have spent little time campaigning in the Sunshine State, prefering to concentrate on the up-coming caucuses being held in states such as Nevada and Minnesota in February.
Guardian correspondents are out in the field, talking to voters at polling stations, and we’ll be watching all the news as we wait for polls to close at 8pm ET.
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