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Romney leads race, but Gingrich popular locally
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Word on the Web:

When asked “If the presidential vote was held today, who would vote for?” Covington News readers responded in strong support of Georgia native Newt Gingrich.

  • Newt Gingrich — 464   
  • Barack Obama — 235   
  • Mitt Romney — 121   
  • Ron Paul — 50  
  • Rick Santorum — 31


Presidential candidate Mitt Romney dominated the Republican primary in Florida, but contender Newt Gingrich, a native Georgian, showed well in The Covington News’ online poll.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, garnered 46 percent of Tuesday’s Florida vote compared to 32 percent for Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul trailed with 13 percent and 7 percent respectively, though neither mounted a substantial effort in the state.

However, in The News’ online, unscientific poll held the past several days, Gingrich garnered 69 percent of Republican votes, an unsurprising result for the man who made his name in Georgia. He had 51 percent of the overall vote, compared to 26 for President Barack Obama.

In the 2008 presidential election, Newton voters cast 50.21 percent of their votes for Obama and 49.03 percent for Republican John McCain.

One of the most significant results from Florida’s primary was Romney’s success among female voters, where he led Gingrich by a 52-28 margin.

In addition, Romney's war chest of $43.6 million, including money from groups that support him, dwarfs figures reported by the other contenders and the groups that back them, although the onset of the 2012 caucuses and primaries was certain to have produced changes.

Though Gingrich won the South Carolina primary, he appears to be facing an uphill battle as candidates prepare for the next round of primaries.

Nevada’s primary is Feb. 4, while Maine’s vote is from Feb. 4-11. Colorado and Minnesota’s caucuses are on Feb. 7 and Arizona and Michigan’s primaries are Feb. 28.

The winner-take-all primary in Florida was worth 50 Republican National Convention delegates, by far the most of any primary state so far. That gave Romney a total of 87, to 26 for Gingrich, 14 for Santorum and four for Paul, with 1,144 required to clinch the nomination. Nevada is worth 28 Republican National Convention delegates.

The Covington News will continue its poll series, pitting potential Republican contenders against President Obama. The next poll will pit Romney against Obama, a matchup Romney’s opponents have said he would be sure to lose.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.