With 53 percent of precincts reporting, Crist had 63.5 percent of the vote, compared to 33.9 percent for Gallagher.
A loud roar went up in Crist's hotel suite as he told family and supporters that the Associated Press had called the race. He will face the Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis or state Sen. Rod Smith, in the Nov. 7 general election.
(Original Ohioan from Florida's ping list, update to September 7.)
Terri on the road to recovery before the second stage began.
Crist defied the conventional wisdom for how to win a Republican primary. He did not, as almost every moderate Republican in the past has done -- as Tom Gallagher did this time -- pander to the feed-Terri Schiavo crowd.
No, he would not intervene in that fiasco.
No, he would not force raped women to bear their attackers' children.
No, he would not pander to homophobia. When Gallagher hammered away at gay unions, Crist shrugged him off by saying, "Live and let live."
He tapped into the silent majority of fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republicans who are tired of seeing these issues dredged up every campaign.
They call him a "moderate." That's how leftists compliment a RINO. The word is liberal-speak for "one of us," but we don't want to say so in public because "moderate" sounds innocent and "liberal" is the kiss of death.