As we know, Mitt Romney delivered a staggering blow to Newt Gingrich’s Presidential ambitions yesterday in the Sunshine State. The final count of votes showed Romney defeating the former house Speaker, 46% to 32%. But the overall results belie the real difficulties that lie ahead for Gingrich. Exit polls show that the two were relatively competitive among men, but women voters rejected him in droves, supporting Mitt by 52% to 28% for Newt. This is quite different from earlier contests, where the gender split wasn’t nearly so noticeable.

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Much of this, of course, is because of the emphasis paid to Newt’s marital travails in Super-PAC ads on behalf of Romney. In effect, the negative campaign emphasized Gingrich’s unacceptability to most women on a personal or a political level. Since this tactic worked so effectively, I’d assume that if the campaign continues for much longer, we will see a repetition of this strategy. There is little that Newt could do in response. I’d think that perhaps Callista might want to be less intrusive during the campaign. On the other hand, she may want to keep him on a short leash, knowing his preferred method to ease stress when under political pressure.

The interesting feature about the exit poll data showed that, while women found Gingrich repulsive, their affection for Mitt didn’t climb during the primary battle. This would seem to indicate a problem that may be difficult to solve for Mitt in the general election.

Other demographic groups may be more positive for Romney in November. He did very well among both the elderly and Hispanics, both important demographics for November, especially in swing states. In particular the elderly proved to be difficult for Obama in 2008; I’d assume that this trend will continue this year. This will be especially true if Mitt can keep the elderly assuaged as far as changes to Medicare and Social Security under his presidency. Hispanics is tricky to evaluate in light of yesterday’s results. This is because of the dominance of Cuban-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Nicaraguan-Americans, each of which wouldn’t fear immigration legislation the way that those who came from Mexico might.

As expected, Romney did much better among those who are thriving economically than those who have had hard times recently. I’d expect this to become even more clear in November, since I’d anticipate that the negative campaign by the Democrats will emphasize his difficulty in understanding the problems of those who are middle class.