Arizona Senator John McCain won a significant victory in the Florida primary results on Tuesday.
McCain won by a narrow margin over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Previous Florida frontrunner, former New York Major Rudy Giuliani, came in a distant third and is expected to withdraw from the Presidential race.
With 69 percent of precincts reporting, John McCain has been predicted as the winner in the Florida Republican primary by CNN.
McCain held a slim lead over Mitt Romney at 36 percent to 31 percent.
Rudy Giuliani, who had spent more time than any other Republican candidate campaigning in Florida, followed in a distant third with 15 percent of the vote.
According to CNN, Giuliani is expected to withdraw from the 2008 Presidential race and is anticipated to endorse the winner of Tuesday’s contest, John McCain.
In a concession speech from Orlando, Florida, Giuliani said:
“We ran a campaign that was uplifting. You don’t always win, but you can always try to do it right, and you did. That’s what the American people deserve.”
Among the other Republican candidates, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee landed in fourth place with 14 percent.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul took fifth with 3 percent, while former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (who is no longer running) came in sixth with 1 percent.
In the Democratic race, New York Senator Hillary Clinton was declared the winner by CNN with 50 percent of the vote at 69 percent of precincts reporting.
Illinois Senator Barack Obama follows in second place with 32 percent, trailed by former North Carolina Senator John Edwards in third with 15 percent.
Ohio US Representative Dennis Kucinich follows in fourth with 1 percent of the vote.
In a victory speech to reporters in Davie, Florida, Clinton said:
“I think it’s time we again had a President who put the American people first and that is what I will try to do.
“Thank you for this tremdous victory tonight.
“Starting tomorrow we are going to sweep through states across the country to February 5th and we will, together, not only take back the White House, but take back our country.”
Tuesday’s primary in Florida is the final contest for Democrats and Republicans before the all important “Super Tuesday” contest on February 5th, when nearly half the country will vote for their chosen Presidential candidates.
With 57 delegates up for grabs in the state, Florida may well be the determining factor in who lands the Republican nomination in November.
For some, like Rudy Giuliani, the state could prove to be the end of the line for their campaigns.
Ann Turner © 2008 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved