WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney can argue that winning ugly is still winning, especially in a contest he could not afford to lose. But Romney’s decisive victory in Florida came at a price. He aggravated Newt Gingrich’s hostility to him, with all the trouble that could entail, and left behind a dispirited Republican electorate in a state the GOP needs to win this fall.
At least until now, this primary process has weakened rather than strengthened Romney. It has sowed doubts that he has any understanding of how average people live, and opened up a slew of questions about his personal wealth and the taxes he pays.