» And voter turnout is driving the day. It’s often difficult to parse exit polls like these for the purposes of prognostication, but these numbers do highlight something fairly clearly — this is a battle between political coalitions with long-entrenched attitudes on unions and governance, and the voters are following suit, overwhelmingly having made up their minds well before election day. Turnout is reportedly very high throughout the state, which has bolstered spirits on both sides — don’t blink on this race, it’s living up to the hype right now.
» Pardon us if that seems reductive, but how evangelical voters relate to Mitt Romney’s faith, and Newt Gingrich’s lack of faithfulness, has been a critical question in the GOP nominating process. In a barrage of exit polling coming out of Florida tonight, this seems to be one of the few positives Gingrich can take away; while not a staggering advantage by any stretch, his personal baggage risks making him deeply unpalatable to a moralistic, Christian electorate. In the short-term, however, it seems he’s staying afloat with those voters, at least enough to keep Romney at his back.
» The early exit polling tells the tale, and it’s an especially concerning one for Newt Gingrich. The GOP debates held in Florida, particularly the most recent one, were widely thought have been won by Mitt Romney. Gingrich himself never had a worse debate than that, just prior to Florida voters having to make up their minds. That Gingrich is likely to lose tonight is no shocker — heading into today he was polling behind by double-digits. However, considering it was his sharp, aggressive debate demeanor that propelled him to victory in South Carolina, to now be losing that medium to Mitt Romney has to sting, and is an essential issue for his campaign going forward.