The big question coming off of Mitt Romney's decisive 14-point victory in Florida is, "What's next for Newt Gingrich?" If you go by what the former speaker said during interviews and his speech last night, the campaign will extend into the summer.
It was a great night for Mitt Romney, restoring the former Massachusetts governor's lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Storming from behind after his crashing fall in South Carolina 10 days earlier, Romney overtook rival Newt Gingrich and passed him in the course of a week. In the end, he won the far larger and more pivotal state of Florida by the same margin he had lost by in South Carolina.
He did it in two ways, both depending on the power of TV in a state too large for retail campaigning.
With his lopsided win in Florida, Mitt Romney displayed nearly all the skills and talents a front-runner might need.
He was able to decimate his leading opponent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, through a series of disciplined and sustained attacks, and he had the organizational capacity to press every tactical advantage.
The only thing he failed to do, some critics maintain, was present a convincing case that he's the best possible Republican candidate to take on President Obama.
Mitt Romney's Florida campaign co-chairman says Romney's stance on the mortgage crisis resonated strongly with Republican voters in the Sunshine State.
"It's at the epicenter of the problems we're facing in our economy here," Tom Lee, who served as president of the Florida Senate and now works in the homebuilding industry, told NPR's Ari Shapiro. "If we don't get housing turned around, we're not going to get America turned around."
"We've got to get people back to work so they can start paying their mortgages again and get housing back on the uptake," said Lee.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum chose to characterize his distant third-place finish in Florida's Republican presidential primary as a victory, of sorts.
"Speaker Gingrich spent 5 or 6 million bucks in the state of Florida and walked away with no delegates," he told NPR after a packed primary night event at his Nevada headquarters in Las Vegas. "I didn't spend a penny."
"We are in a cash-positive position," he said, adding that his campaign on Tuesday raised $200,000 online.