Mitt Romney earned 50 delegates Tuesday after winning the Florida primary, as the race for the Republican presidential nomination continues on to the party's convention this summer.
Romney has support among gay Republicans. Over the weekend, Florida leaders of the Log Cabin Republicans declared Romney the winner of its straw poll, with 24 votes. Newt Gingrich earned six votes, Ron Paul earned four, and Rick Santorum had no votes.
"With a strong showing in Florida, including a win at the Florida Log Cabin Republicans straw poll on Saturday, Romney proves he can build a coalition of conservative voters," R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans executive director said in a statement Tuesday. "Our local chapter leaders report that, like Florida voters overall, Log Cabin members in the Sunshine State were drawn to Romney's business sense and clear plan to return America to prosperity through a strong private sector. Still, there remain serious reservations about recent statements by Romney to so-called "pro-family" groups. The real question now is whether Romney can win a majority of Americans, including younger voters, independents and disaffected Democrats."
Jimmy LaSalvia, the executive director of gay conservative group GOProud, released a statement Tuesday evening congratulating Romney for the win, while also admonishing President Obama.
"President Obama has made it clear that he plans on doubling down on his failed policies," LaSalvia said. "Obama and the left are fanning the flames of class warfare in an attempt to distract Americans from the real issues and to avoid taking responsibility. The truth that Barack Obama nor his friends in the liberal media want to discuss, is that most Americans, gay or straight, are not better off than they were in 2008 and that is a product of Obama's failed big government policies."
Florida U.S. senator Marco Rubio told CNN earlier on Tuesday that the winner of his state's primary will likely be the winner of the nomination, because "Florida is a mini America."
With more than half of the precincts reporting, The Miami Herald reports
Romney's strongest opponent, Newt Gingrich, earned 46% of the vote in areas with high concentrations of evangelical voters. Gingrich won the previous primary, in South
Carolina, January 21.
During a conference call with religious conservative leaders last Wednesday, Gingrich compared same-sex marriage to paganism.
"It's pretty simple: marriage is between a man and a woman..." Gingrich said on the call, which included Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association. "The effort to create alternatives to marriage between a man and a woman are perfectly natural pagan behaviors, but they are a fundamental violation of our civilization."
According to TheNew York Times' most recent delegate count, Romney has 71 delegates, Gingrich has 23 delegates, Santorum has 13, and Ron Paul has three. In order to clinch the nomination, a candidate needs 1,144 delegates.
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