We already have over 250 comments in the headline thread for this new Insider Advantage poll, which turns the Florida primary on its head — if it’s accurate. Although polling in the first half of the month had Mitt Romney with a polling lead of twenty or more points, IA shows Newt Gingrich with a nine-point lead from a snap poll last night:
Fresh off his victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, a new poll shows Newt Gingrich surging into the lead in the next Republican battleground, Florida.
An InsiderAdvantage poll released late Sunday shows the former House speaker leading his main rival former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Sunshine state with 34 percent support from likely GOP voters to Romney’s 26 percent.
Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) receives 13 percent support for third place in the poll, followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 11 percent.
Actually, the poll shows 34.4% for Gingrich to 25.6% for Romney, which is closer to nine points than eight. That would be a 30-point flip from just a week ago, a dramatic turn that almost begs for skepticism, no matter how strong Gingrich performed in South Carolina. However, PPP also announced last night that their polling showed a dramatic shift in Florida, coming to a dead-heat tie in a survey to be released later this week as more polling takes place:
First night of our Florida polling: Romney and Gingrich are neck and neck.
2 more people picked Mitt than Newt out of about 600 people we polled tonight…that’s how close we’re talking
Complicating the analysis is the fact that IA hasn’t polled Florida recently, so we can’t determine trending on the IA series alone. The last time IA polled the Sunshine State was just after Thanksgiving, which was coincidentally the first time Newt Gingrich was having a boomlet. At that time, both PPP and IA had Gingrich a +24 and a +30, respectively, while CNN/Time and Survey USA had it about the same as IA. Quinnipiac and NBC/Marist had it Gingrich +13 and +15, respectively. In its previous look, IA was definitely not an outlier. Since that’s true, we can use the other series to establish that Gingrich is most certainly trending upward.
The sample does have a few questions. First, polls taken entirely on Sunday nights might be a little skewed, as many people might not be home or willing to talk with a pollster. The survey says that it comprises registered Republicans who will vote in the primary, which seems to indicate likely voters, although why it just doesn’t say likely voters is unknown.
If this is accurate, though, Gingrich’s momentum is broad indeed. He wins every demographic in the poll except 30-44YOs and Hispanics, which he loses to Ron Paul, oddly enough. Gingrich wins seniors, where Romney had ruled, and Gingrich even wins women, a surprise after the Marianne Gingrich interview. Mitt Romney had better hope that this Insider Advantage poll is an outlier.
Update: My next post will be about a new Rasmussen poll that corroborates Insider Advantage.