Florida’s primary is the most valuable so far in pure numbers. With the awarding of Florida’s 50 delegates, Romney will have 87 delegates nationally, compared with 26 for Gingrich. Santorum will remain at 14 delegates and Paul stands with four. It takes 1,144 delegates to clinch the Republican nomination.
In a positive sign for Gingrich, exit polls showed evangelical voters trending for the former House speaker. The exit polls showed Gingrich with 40 percent among that group, and Romney with 36 percent.
But the margin was wider for Romney among seniors and Hispanics. Half of the seniors polled were supporting Romney, while 35 percent backed Gingrich. Romney also led Gingrich 56-29 percent among Hispanic voters, the largest minority in the state, exit polling showed.
Voters overwhelmingly went for Romney among those who said winning in November is the most important quality in a Republican nominee. But for voters who valued “true conservative” credentials as their top quality, Gingrich led with 46 percent, followed by Santorum at 26 percent and Paul at 16 percent. Among those voters, Romney was last with 11 percent.