John McCain scored a hard-fought victory over Mitt Romney in Florida tonight to establish himself as the Republican front-runner a week ahead of Super Tuesday, Politico reports. McCain got 36% of the vote to Romney's 31%. Rudy Giuliani, who staked his campaign on a win here, managed just 15% and will reportedly drop out. Mike Huckabee had 13%.
“Our victory might not have reached landslide proportions, but it is sweet nonetheless,” McCain said. "It shows one thing. I'm the conservative leader who can unite the party." With the victory, McCain won all 57 delegates in play. Romney, meanwhile, vowed to stay in the race. "At a time like this, America needs a president in the White House who has actually had a job in the real economy," he said. Huckabee, too, said he would continue.