Transcript for Handicapping the Florida Primary
Countdown is on until the crucial Florida primary at stake the biggest prize so far this election year for the Republican candidates. And take a look at the latest numbers tonight showing Mitt Romney pulling ahead in a two man race now surging fifteen points ahead of Newt Gingrich there. -- of these fast -- final hours both Romney and Gingrich are in full out attack boat. It's that we Begin tonight here with -- ABC's Jonathan Karl in Orlando and. Newt Gingrich may be sliding in the polls here but he attracted an overflow crowd today at the village's town center in Central Florida. Gingrich is trying to climb back with some of his harshest words yet for Mitt Romney. And I believe the Republican Party will not nominate. A pro abortion pro gun control pro tax increase. -- moderate from Massachusetts. And I think they will not moderate -- -- -- nominate somebody who raises millions from Wall Street to run ads that are false. For his part Romney campaigning in Naples today essentially called Gingrich a sore loser he's on TV this morning going from. Station to station complaining about what he thinks there were reasons he's had difficulty here in Florida had for each of us if we fail somewhere if we -- -- debate -- we failed to get the support of people it's time to look in the mirror. But the story of this campaign it is Florida is largely a story of money and nasty just to get started with Romney against launching this we -- it hasn't kind of package he was his first attacked -- -- Florida -- -- 48 hours after losing the primary in South Carolina beat. Since then Romney any pro Romney super pac have pummeled Gingrich with nearly fourteen million dollars worth of attack ads in Florida. Most recently the controversial ad featuring Tom Brokaw Newt Gingrich. The power after all preaching a higher standard and American politics and BC wants that -- pulled down the Romney campaign has refused. All told Romney and his supporters have spent more than four times as much on television ads in Florida as Gingrich and his supporters. That is pretty clear if you look at the volume of -- I have an opponent who -- money power. And we need people power to offset money about. Endorsement from Hermann -- That he hopes will bring him some of that people power. Herman -- will be out campaigning with -- Gingrich tomorrow. But one of Gingrich's biggest problems one of the real factors it is sliding poll numbers is a lack of support among women. In the latest poll out today Romney has 821. Point lead over Gingrich among Republican women in Florida David. All right Jon Karl C in Florida tomorrow John thanks -- want to bring in her senior Washington editor Rick Klein. And Rick -- the Florida polling shows probably pulling way ahead we did -- Newt Gingrich and ABC's this week saying he still ahead in some national polling and he went out of make this argument love your reaction. We try to moderate 1996 for president he lost would try to moderate in 2008 for president he lost very hard to -- Romney care and obamacare. And have a debate and have the Republican win that debate. You need to have a conservative who is a very big distance away from Obama because you've got to have the space so that in fact you can communicate with the American people. -- you literally have a candidate drawing the battle lines even beyond Florida how important is Florida firsthand and is Newt Gingrich already getting ready for what's beyond it. Florida is critical it's the most important state right now for Mitt Romney but it is turning against Newt Gingrich and it's happening pretty quickly. He also -- that Mitt Romney is even stronger in some of the states that follow. But the only reason that any of this is happening is this relentless vicious attack. By Romney on Gingrich so here is the critical thing to know about this week the Republican party's actually poised to take a big step towards settling on a nominee. But -- taking a big spit backwards when it comes to being happy with that nominee. There is in serious bad blood right now that can actually make the primary fight last a lot longer. Even as Romney looks stronger than ever David and Rick a lot of questions about these attacks going back and forth between Romney Gingrich and whether or not they'll hurt the Republican nominee. In the eventual race against the president. That's right a lot of the same arguments that President Obama is poised to use in the fall -- getting aired out right now the conventional wisdom around this is that these things don't hurt until they start to really hurt and that's the problem right now is that if we have an extended primary campaign where both sides the establishment anti south besides going after each other that's a problem for Republicans who want unity. A -- senior Washington editor Rick -- tonight Rick think you.
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