With all but a few precincts reporting, the results of Florida's primary election are clear: Sen. John McCain and Sen. Hillary Clinton are the big winners in Florida.
Arizona Sen. McCain defeated former Massachusetts Governor Romney 36% to 31%, a healthy margin of victory in a state full of transplanted Northeasterners.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had counted on scoring big in Florida to prove his campaign's viability before Super Tuesday, garnered less than 15% of the vote.
Some media are reporting that Giuliani will withdraw form the race and endorse McCain.
As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton decisively defeated Barack Obama by 17 percentage points, 50% to 33%. John Edwards finished with 14.5%.
Some exit polls showed Obama as a clear favorite over Clinton. It remains to be seen exactly where Sen. Clinton drew her support, and where Sen. Obama will have to work harder if he is to remain an par with Sen. Clinton.
Florida used to hold its primary election in March, but switched to late January to give the state a greater voice in determining the fate of the Presidential candidates.
This switch angered both national parties. The Democratic national party actually has a rule which states that no Democratic primaries can take place before February 5 (Super Tuesday.) Because of this, democratic candidates were not allowed to campaign in Florida. Many feel that this gave the GOP a chance to convert some Floridians in this important swing state.
Because official campaign efforts were prohibited, the results of the democratic vote likely reflect the strength of the different candidates' grassroots campaign machines. With no official support form the candidates, the ability of the citizens' organizations probably made the difference.
Florida voters are also deciding to adopt or reject property tax reform measure Amendment One, which would raise the Florida Homestead Exemption, cap property tax increases for Florida residents buying new homes, and change the appraising methods for determining the value of some properties.
Many voters found the amendment confusing, while others resented the scare tactics used by its opponents, who claimed that if Amendment One passed, essential services such as police and fire protection would be cut.
Ultimately, the prospect of lower property taxes and transferable resident benefits won the day.
Because of an amendment passed in 2006, future amendments to the Florida State Constitution would require a sixty percent majority to pass into law. Amendment One earned nearly 65%.
LINK: McCain Beats Romney, Hillary Beats Obama in Florida Primary
I am absolutely stunned that McCain is doing as well as he is right now.