Beyond Florida

Mitt Romney is now almost certain to win a commanding victory tomorrow night in the Florida primary – most likely by double digits.

The latest NBC News/Marist poll shows Romney with a wide lead among likely Republican Primary voters in Florida – leading Newt Gingrich by 15 points.

Similarly, less than 24 hours before Florida primary voters head to the poll, a Quinnipiac University Poll released this morning shows Romney with a 14 point lead over the former speaker (43%-29%) – up five points from a Quinnipiac survey released on Friday.

Moreover, results to the NBC News/Marist poll show Romney leading Gingrich among  likely Florida Republican primary voters who think electability is the most important candidate quality (45%).

But now that governor Romney appears to be hours away from overcoming a huge hurdle—winning the Flordia primary– he has a lot of work to do if he is to be as competitive come November as he and his supporters would like him to be.

Current polling in Florida indicates that President Obama’s position is actually improving vis-à-vis Romney.

The latest NBC News/Marist poll  shows President Obama  leading the former Governor by eight points (49%-41%) among registered Florida voters, while the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States survey shows the President  and Mr. Romney effectively tied (47%-48%) – notwithstanding the President’s low rating in swing states.

Meanwhile, the USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States survey suggests that Obama’s position is strengthening in swing states, with his approval rating on the rise from the low-mid forties to the mid-high forties.

Mr. Romney has been able to rebound from his South Carolina defeat by outspending Newt Gingrich in Florida by 5 to 1 and going on the offensive — attacking the former Speaker on his ethics violations, his investments in Freddie Mac  and Fannie Mae and his position as the ultimate Washington insider.

While this strategy will certainly be necessary to secure the nomination, it will be insufficient going forward in the general election campaign.