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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

What does Gingrich's S.C. win mean for Florida?



newt.jpgNewt Gingrich has won the South Carolina primary.

"This is a launching pad to Florida," former Rep. John Napier, R-S.C., said moments ago on MSNBC. He said Bill McCollum, Gingrich's Florida chair, will be key in continuing the momentum.

Gingrich lacks the organization Mitt Romney enjoys in Florida -- and the money -- and Romney has aggressively pursued absentee and early voters.

But tonight's win is unquestionably big for Gingrich and means Florida got a lot more interesting. And it won't end here, either.

"We’re now three contests into a long primary season," Romney said tonight in South Carolina, lingering on the word "long."

Expect a flood of "super pac" ads in the next week and heightened tension between Gingrich and Romney as they face off during the debate Monday night in Tampa.

"Thank you South Carolina!" Gingrich said on Twitter. "Help me deliver the knockout punch in Florida."

[Last modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 10:26pm]


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