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NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- Republican presidential hopeful Buddy Roemer said the GOP race will still be wide open after the Florida primary Tuesday, regardless if Mitt Romney wins.
Roemer said even with a Florida victory, Romney doesn't have a hold on the Republican nomination as he lost Iowa, won by a less-than-expected margin in New Hampshire and got "killed" by Gingrich in South Carolina.
Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer is running for the GOP nomination.
"It's too early, it's wide open; Romney has no hold," Roemer said in an interview. "What will he win with [Tuesday]? Forty percent or less? I mean, he has been running for years and years and years and years, and spent hundreds-of-millions."
Romney could expect to have a significant advantage in the wider GOP race if he wins Florida's 50 crucial delegates, because the candidates immediately head west for Nevada's Feb. 4 caucuses that favor the former Massachusetts governor.
Romney won Nevada in 2008 with 51% of the vote and he crushed his next closest opponent, Ron Paul, who finished with 14%.
"He [Romney] loses Iowa, he wins by a sliver in New Hampshire -- I think 12%, he expected 22% -- he gets killed in South Carolina; he'll win tonight at 12% -- that's not enough," Roemer said.
Romney won New Hampshire by 16.4 percentage points against second-place finisher Paul, but an
aggregate of major polls
for that primary called for Romney to win by 20 percentage points. Romney lost the South Carolina primary to Gingrich by a shocking 12.6 percentage points after the former governor had led in most polls a week ahead of the primary.
Roemer pointed out that Barack Obama beats Romney and Gingrich in most hypothetical head-to-head general election polls because he said Republican voters are still searching for a person that can rebuild the country.
"I'd like to make my case, and we're trying to get a debate stage so we could do that," Roemer said. "I keep thinking the race is going to be over, I think it's just started."
Roemer said he wouldn't run as an independent candidate because he said it's too early in the race to make that decision.