Coming off a decisive loss to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina, Mitt Romney needed to do three things to win the Florida primary: 1) attack Gingrich with a level of ferocity not yet seen in the already-contentious Republican presidential campaign; 2) raise the level of his performance in debate; and 3) improve his on-the-stump message to give voters more substance and fewer platitudes.Read the rest of it here. I think the Romney train has left the station and is picking up speed. I doubt Gingrich will have many more good days.
For his part, Gingrich had two must-dos: 1) deal with Romney's attacks in a calmer, more seasoned way than Gingrich handled the last Romney barrage, during the campaign in Iowa; and 2) keep up the solid message he rode to victory in South Carolina.
Over the past week in Florida, Romney did nearly everything right; his ads hit hard and his debate performance was dominating, even if he improved only marginally on the stump. And Gingrich did nearly everything wrong. The result was a decisive 15-point victory for Romney, who now has two primary victories to Gingrich's one.
Rich Lowry also has some thoughts on the subject worth reading.