Rasmussen in FL: Romney 41, Gingrich 19, Santorum 15

posted at 10:25 am on January 12, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

While South Carolina looks like a toss-up, according to the latest Insider Advantage poll, Florida looks like it could become a rout.  The latest Rasmussen poll shows Mitt Romney with a bigger lead than he had in New Hampshire, beating Newt Gingrich by 22 points in a state that could spell the effective end of the primary:

Mitt Romney is now running away with the race in the latest Rasmussen Reports’ survey of the end-of-the-month Florida Republican Primary.

Coming off his decisive win in Tuesday’s New Hampshire Primary, Romney earns 41% support with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a distant second at 19%. A new telephone survey of Likely Florida Republican Primary Voters finds former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum running third with 15% of the vote.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul and former Utah Governor Jon Hunstman are next with nine percent (9%) and five percent (5%) support respectively. The two men finished second and third in New Hampshire where independents are allowed to vote in the primary. The Florida primary is open to Republican voters only. Texas Governor Rick Perry runs dead last among primary voters in the Sunshine State with two percent (2%) support. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate in the race, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

A loss in South Carolina might soften up that lead a bit for Romney, but that would have to be a very large tumble to lose the state.  His opponents would have to win back huge chunks of demographics, including an 18-point lead among men and a 28-point lead among women, where Gingrich and Santorum tie at 16% to Romney’s near-majority 44%.  Romney even gets the edge among very conservative voters, 29/26 over Santorum with Gingrich at 25%, but wins a majority of “somewhat conservative” voters at 53%, with Gingrich in second at 16%.

Nor is Gingrich likely to make a charge in Florida, according to favorability numbers in this poll os 750 likely GOP primary voters.  He has a respectable 59/37 rating, but Romney’s is 76/21, with his 32% “very favorable” eleven points better than Gingrich’s.  Perry has cratered in Florida, with a 43/52 favorability rating, which still beats both Paul (33/64) and Huntsman (34/51).  Only Santorum challenges Romney in this measure with a 61/29 rating, but only 8% see him as the strongest candidate to challenge Obama, while a majority of 55% say that about Romney. Almost eight in ten expect Romney to win the nomination, and 87% believe that the likely Republican nominee is at least somewhat likely to beat Obama in November.

Assuming Romney wins in South Carolina, a win in Florida is almost assured.  With numbers like this, don’t be surprised to see more GOP figures lining up behind Romney in an attempt to unify the party early and aim its rhetorical guns at Team Obama.  That might be why John Bolton endorsed Romney late yesterday:

John Bolton, George W. Bush’s controversial Ambassador to the United Nations, will endorse Mitt Romney tonight, a Romney supporter told BuzzFeed.

Bolton tweeted earlier this evening that he plans to make a major announcement on Fox News’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

And while Jim DeMint has been careful to remain neutral, his advisors are climbing aboard Team Mitt, too:

A group of loyalists to South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint – including a top fundraiser for Rick Perry – will publicly endorse Mitt Romney’s presidential bid on Thursday, a source confirmed to CNN.

Former South Carolina GOP Chairman Barry Wynn, Columbia businessman and fundraiser Peter Brown, and Columbia attorney Kevin Hall will announce their support for Romney Thursday.

Wynn’s move to Romney is striking. The Spartanburg financial adviser is a member of Perry’s finance team and traveled to Texas in August to meet privately with the governor before he announced his bid.

Jeb Bush will probably wait for South Carolina to vote, but I’d bet that he will endorse Romney shortly afterward.


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Says the guy that’s calling Nikki Haley a whore.

Hmmmmm. In the olden days that would have gotten the ban hammer.

BettyRuth on January 12, 2012 at 7:19 PM

IS THAT NOT ENOUGH?

Why not attack THESE things… instead we are seeing people throwing around talking points that could have strait off a UAW pamphlet…

I don’t get it.

SilverDeth on January 12, 2012 at 7:12 PM

That’s more than enough for me. He’s a liar and a hypocrit and that was enough for me several months ago.

bluefox on January 12, 2012 at 7:24 PM

shannon76 on January 12, 2012 at 4:12 PM

There was no “argument”. There’s a presumption that Romney is inevitable and everyone needs to fall in line.

most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard…the majority of Romney supporters don’t give a damn who the others fellow cons are voting for and never heard once one pleading with other conservatives to vote for Romney…they usually respond to cretin attacks by the Romney-haters crowd, but that’s pretty much it, didn’t see much proselytism in his favor on hot gas for sure..there’s no presumption anywhere, a lot of people (most of them pundits and important GOP figures) just made up their minds and decided in favour of Mitt and you and the rest of the irrational bunch just hate that and are trying to spread this idiotic meme thatspmehow there’s this conspiracy theory and that MSM and the Spaghetti Monster are just trying to push Mitt as the inevitable GOP candidate…projection much? I do believe that he will be the GOP candidate, do I think he’s the inevitable one? He sure is the sanest and most articulate, intelligent and accomplished of them all, but does that make him the inevitable candidate? I don’t think so…Hillary was all of the above too, in relation to Obama at least, and still she lost, wasn’t she ‘inevitable’ one, at some point? so, stop projecting and putting words in people’s mouths and minds, nobody needs to fall in any line, vote for whomever you want to, but stop acting like someone is putting a gun to your collective (hateful) heads to vote for Romney……

jimver on January 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM

He sure is the sanest and most articulate, intelligent and accomplished of them

The guy that banned guns, ran out and appointed liberal judges, forced commie health-care down his state’s throat, spent like a drunken sailor who had not been to port in 3 years…

…but hey… his hair is nice… he looks sooo…. presidential… like a geriatric Ken-Doll.

This man would have a HELL of a time positioning himself as a blue-dog democrat, let alone a REPUBLICAN.

AND CERTAINLY NOT a CONSERVATIVE.

This republic is very sick indeed.

SilverDeth on January 12, 2012 at 9:31 PM

jimver on January 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Well, I’ll say this…

I support Romney 100%, but I am not trying to convince these Romney haters of anything. If they are so stupid that they’ll throw their vote away on someone like Newt or Rick Perry, then I’ll mock them, yes. I probably should be nicer. I will admit that.

I’m shocked at these people who say they’ll vote for Obama if their preferred candidate isn’t nominated. It’s PATHETIC. I have no interest in pleading with or begging such people.

I also think it’s really silly how the Romney bashers act like they are being “forced” to support a particular candidate. They talk about “the establisment” overlords who are supposedly pulling the strings, but in reality it is voters who are WISELY coming to the obvious conclusion: that Romney is the BEST ONE TO GO AGAINST OBAMA. Those Romney bashers are nothing but deranged conspiracy theorists. I’m often embarrassed to have people like them on “my team.”

bluegill on January 12, 2012 at 9:34 PM

…coming to the obvious conclusion: that Romney is the BEST ONE TO GO AGAINST damn near indistinguishable from OBAMA. Those Romney bashers are nothing but deranged…

Romney:
- Liberal Judge Lover
- Gun Grabber
- Huge Spender
- Passer of Socialized Health Care

Oh… before I forget…

- Cult Member

SilverDeth on January 12, 2012 at 9:46 PM

SilverDeth on January 12, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Mr. Deth, I’m convinced that your ridiculous, unhinged Romney bashing is just a ploy to try to make Romney look good. Well, if it is, it’s sure working!

The truth is that Romney is the best, BY FAR. He is going to beat Obama and be an excellent president.

Those are just the facts.

GO MITT!

bluegill on January 13, 2012 at 6:59 AM

Romney:
- Liberal Judge Lover
- Gun Grabber
- Huge Spender
- Passer of Socialized Health Care

Oh… before I forget…

- Cult Member

If the best that Romney bashers can do is this kind of embarrassing dishonesty, then it’s no wonder that Romney is WAY AHEAD. Everything in your post is a lie. Oh, and you reveal yourself to be a religious BIGOT as well. I’d be embarrassed to have someone like you on our “team.” You should go join the Obama worshiper club and the slimeball Occupy Wall Street bums… you would fit right in there with your disgusting Romney-bashing idiocy.

GO MITT!

bluegill on January 13, 2012 at 7:04 AM

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