What do Florida Republican women know that South Carolinians don't?

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According to exit polls taken after the Palmetto State primary, Gingrich actually won more female votes than Mitt Romney, 38 to 29 percent.


But last night in Florida, his luck ran out. Romney beat Gingrich with men, 41 percent to 36 percent, but he trounced him with women, 52 percent to 28 percent.


The gender gap was even more pronounced among married couples. Married men split about evenly between the two, giving Romney 37 percent and Gingrich 36 percent. But married women preferred Romney, 51 percent to 28 percent.


Of course, some of the women CL interviewed at Gingrich rallies over the past week said they had no issues with Newt's women issues.


Candy Boatwright from Valrico said her ardor for Gingrich actually increased after that news surfaced. “I don’t think that’s going to be something he’s going to continue to do in the White House as far as open marriage,” she told CL before a Gingrich appearance in Hillsborough County. “I don’t think so. I think he’s learned.”


Libby Krupp praised Gingrich for getting out of his last marriage, saying that he should be admired for “getting out of a situation he was not comfortable in.”


Andrea Robins from Largo called the open marriage story “nonsense. That’s a bitter divorce, “ adding that she didn’t know Marianne Gingrich’s issue, but “I didn’t fall for it.”


Newt's past shenanigans didn't affect them — but that was hardly the overwhelming sentiment of Florida female Republican voters as judged by the exit polls.

In piling through the ton of data produced after Florida Republicans took to the polls on Tuesday, a couple of numbers stand out.

1) The turnout: According to data released earlier today, around 1.7 million voters participated in the primary — down from the 1.94 million who voted in 2008. There's speculation that the higher turnout four years ago was due to the Save Our Homes Amendment on the ballot then. Still, it's something to chew on.

2) Newt Gingrich's woman problem.

Like many things associated with the House Speaker's considerable baggage, the fact that he wed three times and dumped his first two wives has always been part of the public record.

But Marianne Gingrich's (wife #2) comments to ABC News about Newt wanting an open marriage may have done further damage to his candidacy with females, though that wasn't automatically assumed, considering he did so well with that demographic in his stunning victory in South Carolina on January 21.

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