Mitt Romney will win the Florida Republican primary, ABC News projects, based on the exit polls and analysis of the vote in so far.
Newt Gingrich will be second, Rick Santorum third and Ron Paul will place fourth, ABC News projects.
Romney appeared to win most of the state's southern and central region, while Gingrich's support was concentrated in the north.
The former Massachusetts governor's debate performance last week and
negative ad campaign against chief rival Gingrich played a key role in
his victory in the Sunshine State.
Preliminary exit polls found that Republican voters were heavily
influenced by the debates and campaign ads that dominated the Florida
airwaves for weeks. As in Iowa and South Carolina, voters were looking
for the candidate who has the best chance to defeat President Obama.
About two-thirds of Florida voters in these preliminary results said
they would be satisfied with Romney as the Republican nominee. (Continues here)