Another week, another GOP presidential primary in the bag, this one perhaps set to resonate more than the contests before it.
Florida broke the presidential primary rules by scheduling its winner-take-all contest for the last Tuesday of January. As a consequence, the state's delegates were halved by the RNC, leaving it with a total of 50 to give to the winner.
The state's decision to push the primary forward undoubtedly increased the Sunshine State's significance, but it simultaneously shifted the candidates' calculations about campaigning there, as both Rick Santorum and Ron Paul dedicated little time to a competition they knew they couldn't win outright. Gingrich, however, hit the state hard with a renewed confidence after an overwhelming victory in South Carolina. But Mitt Romney, who led in Florida polls early, maintained his advantage and won a resounding victory on Tuesday.
It's a tough loss for Gingrich, whose campaign had already risen from the ashes multiple times this cycle just to remain in contention. Now he'll need to do so again, facing even longer odds against a resurgent Romney. Whether or not he's actually likely to rebound, Gingrich has promised to remain in the race until the Republican national convention, or until his opponents drop out. While some have predicted that this is a campaign season bluff, The Huffington Post's Sam Stein reports that he could indeed be serious about the decision. If he is, it would make for a long and acrimonious war of attrition, evidenced by the increasingly nasty tone of political rhetoric in Florida coming from both candidates and super PACs.
Until Republicans pick a nominee, President Barack Obama is left to watch the carnage play out, all the while preparing for his re-election by fundraising and honing his campaign message.
Below is a list of winners and losers from the Florida primary. Make your pick for the biggest in each category.