GOP Race Turns To New Terrain In Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Florida voters are facing a new political reality as the Republican presidential contest turns their way.

Newt Gingrich’s stunning victory in South Carolina on Saturday stopped Mitt Romney’s march to his party’s presidential nomination. And Florida now becomes a critical test for whether the former Massachusetts governor can regroup and rediscover his dominance in the race to face President Barack Obama in November.

The four remaining candidates will be in the state Monday for the first of two presidential debates this week. They have just nine days to navigate an electorate unlike anything they’ve faced so far. The state is six times larger than New Hampshire, has almost five times more Hispanics than Iowa, and has a population that’s older and more culturally moderate than South Carolina’s.

Source: Steve Peoples – AP

Today’s Candidate Appearances include:

8:00 a.m. – Mitt Romney will be at the Sheraton River Walk downtown Tampa for a round table discussion on housing issues

10:00 a.m. – Rick Santorm will be at the PGT Window Factory in Venice

2:00 p.m. – Newt Gingrich will hold a welcome rally at the River of Tampa Bay Church located at I-75 and MLK in Hillsborough County

11:00 p.m. – Ron Paul will host an after party at The Copper Top Pub in Temple Terrace

There is a “Watch Party” for USF Students and the Public in a large tent and the lawn on the Westend of MLK Jr. Plaza near the Marshall Center where the debate is being held.  Parking is free after 5:00 p.m., everyone is scheduled to start gathering at 7:30 p.m. with the debate scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m.