TAMPA, Fla. — 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.
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