NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Mitt Romney won the Florida primary, and it's a big prize in the 2012 nominating fight.
That's bad news for Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who are looking at bleak chances in the handful of contests ahead this month.
With two wins under his belt, Romney has the money and time the other candidates don't.
Mitt Romney says his big win in Florida sends a clear message.
"Any question about the support of conservatives, I think, was cleared up last night
in Florida,” said Romney. “People who called themselves conservative and very conservative
overwhelmingly supported my campaign."
Exit polls showed 58 percent of voters consider Romney the most electable, but 41 percent still believe Romney is not conservative enough.
"It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, Newt Gingrich, and the Massachusetts moderate," stated Gingrich.
Today in Colorado, Rick Santorum argued this race isn't about Romney.
"One of us may be able to beat Mitt Romney, but that's not the goal folks,” said Romney. “The goal is to beat Barack Obama."
Next up are the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, and Ron Paul likes his odds.
"If you have an energized group of people that are working in a campaign and actually
believe in something, it's better to work in the caucus states," said Paul.
The GOP nomination is within Romney's grasp, but still up for grabs.
The candidates have four caucuses coming up in the next week; then, the Arizona and Michigan
primaries at the end of the month.