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Florida votes after bitter Republican primary battle

Florida votes after bitter Republican primary battle
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US Republicans in Florida appear set to give Mitt Romney his biggest win so for in the race to be the party’s presidential candidate. Polls have him with a double digit lead over his nearest rival Newt Gingrich.

He was riding high after victory in conservative South Carolina. But the Romney campaign machine has gone into overdrive in this hugely influential state.

Emerging from a Florida polling station one man said: “I voted for Mitt Romney today and he’s a good, solid man across the board. I think there’s been a lot of bad stuff going on with how they go about their campaigning, but as far as getting our country back on track, I think this guy can handle it inside the Beltway (ring road surrounding Washington) and outside in the real world where you and I are standing right now.”

A woman voter said: “I love Newt, but I don’t know if he could be the man to defeat the current President.”

The battle in Florida was marked by negative campaigning from both candidates. Romney again highlighted Gingrich’s career as a political lobbyist, branding him an ‘influence peddler’.

Gingrich portrayed Romney as a moderate who would not be much different from Barack Obama.