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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Romney rout in Fla




Mitt Romney scored a blowout win in Florida's Republican presidential primary Tuesday, steadying a campaign that was jarred by a loss in South Carolina just 10 days ago and again staking his claim to the nomination.

Called seconds after the final Florida polls closed in the Panhandle at 8 p.m., the victory was built on the back of a more focused message, superior voter outreach and a crushing, multi-million ad campaign against Romney's closest rival Newt Gingrich, who came in a distant second.

In Tampa, Romney exulted before hundreds of supporters and served up a litany of complaints about President Barack Obama.

"I stand ready to lead this party and to lead our nation," Romney said.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:38pm]


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