(CNN) - Florida voters headed to the polls Tuesday and delivered former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a decisive victory one month and three contests into the 2012 GOP primary election. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich came in second place, followed by former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
10:58 p.m. ET - Former presidential candidate Herman Cain, now a Gingrich supporter, said the voters in Florida delivered a "double digit shellacking" to the former House speaker, but added that the 2012 primary race is a "long way from over."
10:45 p.m. ET - @PeterHambyCNN: Some truck ops (not ours) outside Romney event already griping about looming Secret Service protection. Security sweeps!
10:43 p.m. ET - @MeganGrantCNN: Gingrich daughters to Piers: "We knew this wasn't our state or our time or place." #CNNElections
10:32 p.m. ET – @DanaBashCNN: Santorum still at nevada hq schmoozing w supporters #cnnelections pic.twitter.com/MrgO2sDD
10:30 p.m. ET - Appearing on CNN, Ralph Reed, president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said Romney's win in Florida is "very impressive," especially his lead among Evangelical, Catholic and Latino voters.
10:24 p.m. ET – @deirdrewalshcnn: Santorum on CNN says speech tomorrow contrasting Romneycare and obamacare will draw issue contrasts unlike Gingrich focusing on attacks
10:23 p.m. ET - Appearing live on CNN, Santorum differentiated himself from the other candidates in the race by stressing his discipline and pointing to his scheduled address Wednesday on health care.
10:17 p.m. ET - CNN Political Analyst Ronald Brownstein: "Mitt Romney expanded his following among key center-hugging groups while narrowing rival Newt Gingrich's appeal among populist Republican voters." Read more here.
10:08 p.m. ET - Appearing live on CNN, Paul said his campaign is more likely to be successful in caucus states than primary states.
"It is easier for is to compete. You need energy, you need hard workers and people dedicated," Paul said of campaigning in caucus states. "They need to believe in something, and then you can compensate for not having $30 or $50 million to compete in a state like Florida."
10:02 p.m. ET - @donnabrazile: Economy on the mend, jobs are slowly coming back. That is good news unless you're a GOP presidential candidate.
9:56 p.m. ET - With 94% of precincts reporting, Romney received 46% of the vote, followed by Gingrich with 32%, Santorum with 13% and Paul with 7%.
9:44 p.m. ET – @jimacostacnn: Asked if the no call is a sign that this race has gotten personal, Gingrich spokesman RC Hammond says it's a sign the race goes on.
9:41 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Paul &Santorum called Mitt 2 congratulate. Gingrich did not. ( says romney source) I think newt might be upset.
9:40 p.m. ET - @donnabrazile: Newt isn't afraid to play the bad guy. Okay, he isn't able to play anything BUT the bad guy. Gingrich goes Rogue tonight! Agree?
9:38 p.m. ET - @alexcast: i think ron paul would like us to join his organization of anarchists. if we could have one.
9:37 p.m. ET - @mjaconicnn: Interesting that Ron Paul, who would be the oldest president in history is only getting 3% of FL voters over 65. #CNNElections
9:30 p.m. ET – At a rally in Henderson, Nevada, Paul told supporters he called Romney to congratulate him on his Florida win and tell him he's looking forward to the caucus states.
9:29 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: On to feb, or as @newtgingrich says #46statestogo. But next month is advantage @MittRomney #cnn yfrog.com/kjtg1trj
9:26 p.m. ET – @crowleyCNN: No Saul Alinsky mention from Newt? I feel vaguely let down. PS He will soldier on–(Newt not Saul Alinsky, who is departed)
9:24 p.m. ET - @donlemoncnn: Newt quote: "i pledge to you my life, my fortune and my sacred honor." What the?!! Is he asking us to marry him? #CNNelections
9:22 p.m. ET - @alexcast: newt speech is good news for romney. he won't have to go one-on-one w/ santorum, who has higher favorables and the base. #cnnelections
9:21 p.m. ET - @YellinCNN: Exit polling shows Romney winning 54% of Fl latino vote. That's up from 14% in Fl 2008. Should that be worrisome for Team Obama?
9:19 p.m. ET - Gingrich told supporters he will not sing, like Obama did last week, because he's "not running for entertainer-in-chief, I'm running for president."
"You can't sing your way past the disaster of your presidency," Gingrich said in Orlando.
9:17 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: CONTRACT for AMERICA 2012 – two parts: It's conditional. part 1, says Gingrich, is conditional on country electing GOP House and Senate.
9:16 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: NEWT: in the next few days, we'll develop the equivalent of the Contract from 1994, only it will be personal. Oh, and it's two parts.
9:15 p.m. ET - @PaulBegala: Newt calls for "people-powered campaign." Because, you know, the people all have $1M lines of credit at Tiffany's. #CNNelections
9:13 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: Newt is tired.
9:11 p.m. ET - @PaulBegala: Newt vows to fight all the way to convention in August. Crowd cheers a little. I cheer a lot. #CNNelections
9:10 p.m. ET - Gingrich said the Florida results prove this will be a "two person race" until he wins the GOP nomination.
"We are going to contest every place and we are going to win," Gingrich said at his Florida campaign headquarters in Orlando. "We will in Tampa as the nominee in August."
9:04 p.m. ET - @PeterHambyCNN: the main reason Newt and Santorum head to Nevada: TV cameras are there. But it's a Romney/Ron Paul state by a mile.
9:00 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Good news for rick santorum: he just told me live on cnn his daughter bella is getting out of hospital tomorrow #cnnelections
8:55 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: Without FL's totals, GOP turnout total turnout so far in 2012 is up 21.9% compared to 2008. That's a good sign...
8:50 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: Romney speech competent, not compelling. Has work to do to create foot soldiers as dedicated to him as to beating Obama. #CNNElections
8:52 p.m. ET - Santorum told @DanaBashCNN that the results in Florida prove Gingrich "had his shot our of South Carolina and couldn't hold it." He said voters are now looking for a "different conservative as an alternative to Romney."
In interview at his campaign headquarters in Las Vegas, the former Pennsylvania senator also touted his recent fundraising numbers, including $200,000 he said his campaign raised Tuesday.
8:48 p.m. ET - @YellinCNN: The President did not watch that speech by Gov Romney. He's at a fundraiser in Maryland.
8:43 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Mitt says he wants country where hope is new job not a faded word on an old bumper sticker.
8:42 p.m. ET - Reacting to the Florida election results, Santorum said he's "not surprised."
"We decided obviously that that was a – that's a death match that I didn't want to get involved in, the resources you had to spend to compete there," Santorum said in Las Veags Tuesday. "We decided that this was going to be a long campaign and we were going to get out and run a campaign across this country."
8:40 p.m. ET - @alexcast: "without raising taxes i will balance the budget." – Romney. that's a big promise, equal to "read my lips."
8:39 p.m. ET - Romney briefly dings his rivals on their economic plans, saying he knows how to turn the economy around "unlike the other people running for president," before returning his jabs to the president.
8:35 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Gracious Mitt shows up. Gives nod to opponents says Fractious primaries "don't divide us, they prepare us"
8:32 p.m. ET - Addressing his supporters at his headquarters in Tampa, Florida, Romney said a competitive primary "does not divide us, it prepares us and we will win."
8:31 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Mitt will go after POTUS 2nite. Will return to Newt on campaign trail if needs be. Like grandma says there's a time and place 4 everything
8:25 p.m. ET - @sinderbrandcnn: Romney won voting blocs Tuesday he's often struggled to capture so far this year - groups like men, young voters and the middle class. Voters cited him as the candidate most likely to understand average Americans' problems.
Although he pulled a respectable 33% among voters who strongly support the tea party, according to early exit polls, that showing pales in comparison to the 46% captured by Newt Gingrich. The 7% of voters whose most important issue this year was abortion overwhelmingly backed Gingrich over Romney, 44% to 24%. So did voters looking for a true conservative: they picked Gingrich over Romney by a greater than 4-to-1 margin.
In other words: the exit polls suggest the party's most conservative voters still haven't warned to Romney just yet. But there are signs of movement: voters who believe abortion should be illegal backed both men in equal numbers. Evangelicals gave a slight 3-point edge to Gingrich - but Romney nearly closed that massive gap. And in the Panhandle - the state's most conservative region - the two men are neck-and-neck at 38%.
8:24 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: I wonder if Newt will give another attack concession speech...
8:23 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Parlor game: does MR who has had a pretty solid victory come out and blast POTUS? Or keep pounding Newt.mitt we told 1 minute from speech
8:23 p.m. ET - Gingrich took to Twitter Tuesday to encourage supporters to donate to his campaign "money bomb" to "help us defeat Obamneycare," a jab at rival Romney and President Obama.
8:20 p.m. ET – Sixty-two percent of voters said the economy is the most important issue in the 2012 election, followed by the budget deficit at 24%, abortion at 7% and illegal immigration at 3%, according to CNN exit polling,
8:17 p.m. ET – @jimacostacnn: Crowd starting to fill in at Gingrich HQ. For a while there the place was almost empty. #flprimary
8:10 p.m. ET - Santorum, appearing in Las Veags Tuesday, announced he will deliver a big speech on the similarities between "Romneycare" and "Obamacare" Wednesday.
8:09 p.m. ET – @EWErickson: Gingrich and Romney split evangelicals statewide. I'm interested in the evangelical split in the panhandle.
8:08 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: FL EXIT POLLS – Romney sweeps: He won all age groups, all income groups, all education groups (HS, college, postgrad, etc.)
8:07 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: Newt tied Romney in No. FL/panhandle, 38-38. Romney still has a southern state problem.
8:06 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: Exit polls show HUGE gender gap. Romn wins men 41-36. Romn wins women 51-29.
8:04 p.m. ET - According to CNN exit polling, Romney received 46% support followed by Gingrich's 32%, Santorum's 12% and Paul's 8%.
8:02 p.m. ET - The projected Romney wins means he will receive the 50 delegates at stake in the state, bringing his total delegates to 84, followed by 27 delegates for Gingrich, 10 for Paul and 8 for Santorum.
8:00 p.m. ET – Mitt Romney won the Florida primary, CNN projects based on exit polls and votes cast Tuesday.
7:58 p.m. ET - @ErinBurnett: Another amazing #: #democrat #superpacs spent $2.28M on BROADCAST ads alone against #republican candidates in #florida primary #cnnelections
7:55 p.m. ET – @stevebruskCNN: Where to next? Gingrich goes to Reno overnight. Romney does AM interviews, then heads to Minnesota and later Las Vegas Wednesday. Ron Paul spends tomorrow (his 55th wedding anniversary) in Nevada, Rick Santorum holds events in Colorado after leaving NV late tonight.
7:54 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: Ann Romney one of campaign's best assets - not only empathic but makes the argument for Mitt better than anyone else. #cnnelections
7:53 p.m. ET – @jimacostacnn: Adios Florida: Team Newt not spending the night in the state. On to Nevada later tonight. #flprimary
7:47 p.m. ET - Ann Romney, talking to @crowleyCNN, predicted her husband will win the Florida primary. She also said the negative tone of the campaign is "always unfortunate" and that she finds the name calling directed toward her husband "numerous" because she "knows where his values are." "What's next, a communist?" she jokingly asked.
7:31 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: Emails from the Ron Paul campaign all focus on Nevada tonight.
7:30 p.m. ET - With 41% of precincts reporting, Romney leads with 50% support followed by 30% for Gingrich, 12% for Santorum and 7% for Paul.
7:21 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: W/ 21% #flprimary counted, romney beating 3 rivals combined. #cnnelections yfrog.com/ody9xjhj
7:19 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Team Gingrich putting up a sign that says 46 states to go!
7:18 p.m. ET - @PaulBegala: #CNNelections Exit poll: 39% of FL GOP unhappy with field; 53% of Gingrich voters unhappy if Romney nominee. Bile, bitterness & bad blood.
7:17 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: In SC, it was the theme from Rocky. Now it's "Don't you want me baby?" from the Human League. #DJNewt
7:15 p.m. ET - @alexcast: If Romney wins FL big, next week is critical. he'll have the megaphone for a few days. needs to do and say something big. #cnnelections
7:14 p.m. ET - @sinderbrandcnn: According to CMAG/Kantar Media, which tracks political ad spending, the spots flooding Florida's airwaves since last Monday have been overwhelmingly negative. And Newt Gingrich was by far the top target: more than two-thirds of the political ads that aired in the past week were anti-Gingrich spots, while just under 1 in 4 were anti-Romney. However, almost 1 in 10 of the past week's ads were pro-Gingrich spots - while just 0.1% were pro-Romney. As in, one-tenth of a single percentage point.
But here's the thing: ads were a lot less decisive in this race than they were in South Carolina. Two-thirds of the voters there said they were an important part of that decision. Here in Florida, just 39% said campaign spots were important to their vote; 58% said they weren't.
7:12 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: Early, early voting shows Romney beating Newt & Santorum together. Keep your eye there. If that holds, big for Mitt. #CNNElections
7:11 p.m. ET - With 8% of precincts reporting, Romney leads with 52% followed by Gingrich with 25%, Santorum with 12% and Paul with 8%.
7:04 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: I'm also looking to see if there is a gender gap. Newt very well may have big problems with female voters.
7:03 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: I'm watching how Romn does in No.Florida/panhandle. If Ging is close there, it's a sign of how GA, AL & MS may vote in March
7:01 p.m. ET – @PaulBegala: Lesson from FL is from the @LyleLovett song: "No finance, no romance. It's M-O-N-E-Y." Team Romney = $15M; Team Newt $3M #CNNelections
6:55 p.m. ET - Most polls in Florida close at 7 p.m. ET. However, a handful of counties in the Panhandle, in the northwestern corner of the state, are in the Central Time Zone, so polls there close 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local time).
6:50 p.m. ET - Fifty-seven percent of Tuesday's voters were satisfied with the current GOP field compared to 39% that were not, according to CNN exit polling.
6:47 p.m. ET – @sinderbrandcnn: A week-and-a-half ago, two-thirds of South Carolina's GOP primary voters said debates helped decide their vote; back then, Gingrich lapped Romney among those voters by a 2-to-1 margin. And once again Tuesday, in early exit polls, two-thirds of Florida’s Republican primary voters said debates were an important factor in deciding their vote.
So could the candidate who dominated the debate stage in Florida expect the same sort of result here? The answer's not quite that simple: one x-factor in Florida is the fact that thousands of the state's voters cast ballots before the candidates faced off there this month. In other words, when voters point to debate performance, they're not necessarily talking about last week's face-offs; a big chunk of the electorate could have based their votes on nationally-televised debates from earlier-voting states like South Carolina.
6:45 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: How Camp Mitt views post Fla: more $ than Newt, on ballot everywhere (newt not in Va./Mo.)"unmatched"turnout op. Caucus states "uphill"
6:40 p.m. ET - @David_Gergen: If they win big tonite, Romney forces will want to close down this campaign.Some want to reduce or end debates. Good or bad idea?
6:37 p.m. ET - A solid majority, 61%, of GOP primary voters in 2008 were self-identified conservatives. Romney beat McCain among them, 37% to 29%.
6:16 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Based on the music in Gingrich HQ, the campaign is going clubbing later. #flprimary
6:12 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: Strangest bit of the FL GOP Primary: The Newt Super PAC's big ad campaign has been hitting Romney on abortion.
6:10 p.m. ET - Eighty-two percent of voters Tuesday identified themselves as white and 15% identified themselves as Latino, according to CNN exit polling. Those identifying themselves as black and Asian represented 1% respectively.
6:08 p.m. ET - @donnabrazile: Romney outspent Newt almost 5 or 4 to 1. Did they negative ads work? Sure... But will it help Romney?
6:05 p.m. ET - Fifty percent of voters Tuesday said the debates were an important factor in their vote, according to CNN exit polling. Seventeen percent said they were the most important factor.
What is the most important quality fora candidate? Forty-five percent of those questioned said it was their ability to defeat President Barack Obama, 13% said it was whether the candidate is a true conservative, 17% said it was their strong moral character and 20% said it was whether they had the right experience, according to CNN exit polling.
5:54 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: FL – COUNTY TO WATCH: Political expert Susan McManus tells me the best bellwether is Tampa's Hillsborough County. #CNNElections
5:40 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: FL EXIT POLLS – evangelical?: 39% said yes, 61% no.
5:39 p.m. ET – Fifty-two percent of those who voted Tuesday were men and 48% were women, according to CNN exit poll results. Thirty-four percent said they considered themselves very conservative, 37% identified themselves as somewhat conservative and 30% as moderate or liberal.
5:33 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Kantar CMAG breakdown of political ads in FL: Anti-Gingrich: 68% Anti-Romney: 23% Pro-Gingrich: 9% and Pro-Romney: less than 0.1%
4:59 p.m. ET - @alexcast: Both Romney and Obama sang this week. Romney needs the Presidency more than Obama. O can croon.
4:55 p.m. ET - While voting continues in Florida, Santorum released an ad in Nevada and Colorado Tuesday that criticizes rival Newt Gingrich by comparing his past stances to those of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama.
4:25 p.m. ET - In 2008, Sen. John McCain beat then-rival Mitt Romney in the Florida GOP primary, 36% to 31%. Rudy Giuliani received 14.7%, followed by Mike Huckabee with 13.5% and Ron Paul with 3.2%. McCain went on to capture the GOP nomination but lost Florida to Barack Obama in the 2008 general election, 51% to 48%.
4:08 p.m. ET - @donnabrazile: What's on your afternoon menu? Light fare in preparation for the Florida primary results. Stay tuned to #CNN for breaking political news.
3:34 p.m. ET - @deirdrewalshcnn: Santorum NV HQ – conveniently located next to a popcorn store in shopping center in Las Vegas yfrog.com/h3k7wtaj
3:30 p.m. ET – - The Hispanic vote makes up 11.1% of registered voters in the Sunshine State, according to the most recent voter registration information.
3:20 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Michael Reagan sums up the race in Florida: "There's now a 12th commandment: Forget about the 11th commandment."
3:07 p.m. ET – - Florida is a winner-take-all state, which means the candidate who receives the most votes Tuesday captures the state's 50 delegates.
2:21 p.m. ET - @EWErickson: Things I'm looking for tonight in FL: the margin of Romney's win (over/under 10pts) & how do panhandle evangelicals break.
1:00 p.m. ET - Florida has a closed primary, which means only registered Republicans may participate in Tuesday's GOP primary. Of Florida's 11.24 million voters, 36.2% or 4 million are registered Republicans and 40.5% of 4.55 million are registered Democrats. Over two million have no party identification.
12:51 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: GOP legal counsel.agreed w/Fla. GOP that winner take all. Last word til next word.