Mitt Romney won the pivotal Republican primary in Florida,thrashing Newt Gingrich and taking a big step toward becoming his partys challenger to President Barack Obama.
With his win in Tuesdays primary in the Sunshine state,Romney has recovered the political momentum he had lost after Gingrichs victory in the January 21 South Carolina primary.
Gingrich,the former speaker of the House of Representatives,vowed to fight on. He has twice before bounced back after his campaign appeared dead.
Returns from 100 per cent of Floridas precincts showed Romney with 46 per cent of the vote to 32 per cent for Gingrich. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had 13 per cent,and Texas congressman Ron Paul 7 per cent. Romney,in remarks to cheering supporters,said he was ready to lead this party and our nation. The candidates were converging Wednesday on Nevada which holds its caucuses on Saturday.