Monmouth poll puts Romney up 7 in Florida

posted at 2:30 pm on January 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Yet another poll in Florida’s hotly-contested primary shows a major swing in support back to Mitt Romney and away from Newt Gingrich.  The new Monmouth University poll puts Romney back in the driver’s seat with a 39/32 lead over Gingrich.  Romney has even recovered among overall Tea Party supporters:

In what has been a topsy-turvy campaign, Mitt Romney currently holds a 7 point lead over Newt Gingrich among likely Republican primary voters in Florida according to the Monmouth University Poll. The former Massachusetts governor registers 39% support while the former House Speaker has 32%. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (11%) and Texas Congressman Ron Paul (8%) are well behind the top two contenders. …

Gingrich (40%) does well among those who call themselves very conservative, leading both Romney (34%) and Santorum (15%) among a voting bloc that comprises nearly 4-in-10 likely voters. But Romney does better among the bulk of voters who see themselves as either somewhat conservative 44% to 34% for Gingrich) or moderate to liberal (44% to just 19% for Gingrich).

Among those who support the Tea Party movement, support is split at 38% for each of the two leading candidates. However, Gingrich does better among those who say they strongly support the Tea Party with 49% to 24% for Romney. It’s the mirror image among those who support the Tea Party only somewhat – 51% for Romney to 27% for Gingrich. Romney also bests Gingrich among voters who either oppose or have no opinion about the Tea Party (42% to 18%).

The sampling in this survey is interesting in one important sense.  Florida has a closed primary, but the sample of 540 likely Republican voters includes independents (20%) and Democrats (2%).  Independents and Democrats could change their registration to cast ballots in this closed primary, but I’d be surprised if they made up 22% of the overall vote.  Their inclusion actually boosts Gingrich in this poll, who only trails Romney by a point in this demographic (30/31) but trails among registered Republicans by eight (33/41).  Still, the numbers closely match the Rasmussen poll from earlier today as well as one for Insider Advantage released yesterday.

There are a few more interesting points from the crosstabs.  Florida Republicans are more likely to consider electability in November when casting their ballots (55%), while independents and Democrats are much more likely to prioritize shared values (66%).  Among very conservative voters, the ability to defeat Obama becomes even more important (59%), as well as among Tea Party supporters (54%) a rather counterintuitive result for the “true believers” categories of conservatives.  Electability dominates the age demos, too, with only younger voters having a wide majority relying on shared values.  Almost two-thirds of respondents think that adding Marco Rubio to the ticket would be a good idea (64/17), but keep in mind the general-election Suffolk poll from this morning on that same question.

Romney wants to close the deal in Florida, and he brought out a big gun to go after Gingrich’s temperament and leadership.  Bob Dole had already endorsed Romney before Iowa, but rips Gingrich in a statement today:

I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late.  If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway.

Gingrich served as Speaker from 1995 to 1999 and had trouble within his own party. Already in 1997 a number of House members wanted to throw him out as Speaker.  But he hung on until after the 1998elections when the writing was on the wall. His mounting ethics problems caused him to resign in early 1999. I know whereof I speak as I helped establish a line of credit of $150,000 to help Newt pay off the fine for his ethics violations. In the end, he paid the fine with money from other sources.

Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall.  He loved picking a fight with Bill Clinton because he knew this would get the attention of the press. This and a myriad of other specifics helped to topple Gingrich in 1998.

Is this bad news for Gingrich?  Republicans have a lot of respect for Dole and his time as Senator, but his nomination in 1996 is often referenced as a demonstration of establishment control over the primary process.  Dole complains about ads run against him in that election that heavily featured Gingrich as a bogeyman, but it’s also true that Dole didn’t run a very energetic or effective campaign on his own.  I’m not sure that having an establishment figure attacking Gingrich hurts him, and I’m also not sure that tying himself to Dole’s 1996 campaign helps Romney.


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Newt’s biggest problem (and a telling tidbit) is that the people who know him the best, like him the least.

Tater Salad on January 26, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Schadenfreude on January 26, 2012 at 5:40 PM

:-)

You’re the only bright spot of an Obama reelection. Thanks for that.

mike_NC9 on January 26, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Don’t even say that! :-)

csdeven on January 26, 2012 at 5:53 PM

And replaced by what? Where are all these rock ribbed conservatives? (The “establishment” must be keeping then locked away somewhere.)
Not directed at you, GaltBlvnAtty, but the mindset here just shows no class, which is perfectly congruent with the choice of Newt Gingrich.

V7_Sport on January 26, 2012 at 4:56 PM

I believe that very capable men and women stay out of politics, or at presidential politics, because of the the personal destruction that has become part of it. To the extent that the establishment contributes to the politics of personal destruction it is helping to keep the others locked up.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 26, 2012 at 5:55 PM

In the past 24 hours, I’ve had fourteen effing robocalls from RomneySuperPAC on my home line, business line, and who knows how many on my fax line. I’ve had two from SuperNewtPAC.

Now Mr. Viagra SuperDole wants to tell me how to vote?

Sheesh. I’m early voting Newt tomorrow.

ex Dem from Miami on January 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM

One of the GOP’s star losers wants me to support Mitt Romney, who couldn’t even win a Senate seat in Massachusetts? Good grief, Mitt makes Nelson Rockefeller look like a John Bircher! Mr. Grump on January 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Mitt couldn’t defeat the leader of the Kennedy clan. In Massachusetts of all places. You newt-twits are comedy gold.

Basilsbest on January 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Willard ‘the planet god’ Romney getting that all important establishment backing to give him uber-conservative cred

/s

tom daschle concerned on January 26, 2012 at 6:19 PM

. Now I understand how Jesse Helms felt when he said “I didn’t leave the democrat party, the democrat party left me”

mike_NC9 on January 26, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Thought Reagan said that?

Bmore on January 26, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Re.GaltBlvnAtty

I believe that very capable men and women stay out of politics, or at presidential politics, because of the the personal destruction that has become part of it.

I agree.

To the extent that the establishment contributes to the politics of personal destruction it is helping to keep the others locked up.

It depends on how we define what “establishment” means. Often that’s shorthand for whomever is disagreeing with us at any given moment. Someone like Dole is as entitled to his opinion as someone like Palin or you or I. It’s up to the people to examine the facts presented and reason out a conclusion. I fear that the whole “reasoning” thing has been overlooked here (Some are going for what feels good rather than what might work best) and that trashing a man like Dole for presenting his case is not only wrong but ignores the case he was making. He deserves more respect IMHO.

V7_Sport on January 26, 2012 at 6:27 PM

In the past 24 hours, I’ve had fourteen effing robocalls from RomneySuperPAC on my home line, business line, and who knows how many on my fax line. I’ve had two from SuperNewtPAC.

Now Mr. Viagra SuperDole wants to tell me how to vote?

Sheesh. I’m early voting Newt tomorrow.

ex Dem from Miami on January 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Great way to make an important decision.

V7_Sport on January 26, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Mitt couldn’t defeat the leader of the Kennedy clan. In Massachusetts of all places. You newt-twits are comedy gold.

Basilsbest on January 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Okay wiseguy, If Teddy’s re-election was a foregone conclusion, why did the GOP bother to field a candidate, and why did Mittens take the chance for abject rejection? Mitt and the repubs thought he could win and he got his head handed to him. If he runs against Barry, he will again.

Mr. Grump on January 26, 2012 at 6:32 PM

It depends on how we define what “establishment” means. Often that’s shorthand for whomever is disagreeing with us at any given moment.

V7_Sport on January 26, 2012 at 6:27 PM

To me the Republican establishment is the group of individuals who collectively can make and implement decisions for the Repubican party based on their positions of authority or “leadership”, which usually are based in large part on longevity. I believe that members of the establishment are generally satisfied with their positions and, therefore, are alarmed by anyone who could rock their boat.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Bob Dole should be the poster child for the Romney campaign.

He’s perfect.

TitularHead on January 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

I agree with this 100%. Dole McCain Mitt-three nice guys…please go away!!!.
congma on January 26, 2012 at 3:16 PM

They WEREN’T nice guys. They were cowards. There is a very big difference.

They happily – even gleefully knife in the back the people on “their” side. It’s only when it comes to the people that we’re all fighting against that they suddenly turn into pacifists.

logis on January 26, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Why, when looking at Bob’s picture, do I expect to hear “Silence, I keel you!”?

scgas on January 26, 2012 at 7:09 PM

It’s a beautiful thing to watch Nasty Newt get his comeuppance for being a corrupt lying narcissist jerk. Those who know Neutron Newt best, like him the least.

csdeven on January 26, 2012 at 7:28 PM

In the past 24 hours, I’ve had fourteen effing robocalls from RomneySuperPAC on my home line, business line, and who knows how many on my fax line. I’ve had two from SuperNewtPAC.

Now Mr. Viagra SuperDole wants to tell me how to vote?

Sheesh. I’m early voting Newt tomorrow.

ex Dem from Miami on January 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Great way to make an important decision.

V7_Sport on January 26, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Now that you mention this, it probably is a great way. Dole makes me sick, never fought like he shoulda/coulda in 1996. Romney is just throwing money against the wall to see if anything sticks (BTW, you should listen to the robocalls!). Otherwise, he’s a pussycat. Frankly, at this point, listening to everyone’s best shots, I’m ready for the suicide bomber.

ex Dem from Miami on January 26, 2012 at 8:02 PM

LEVIN ON THIS OLD FART: http://www.therightscoop.com/mark-levin-newt-did-more-for-the-conservative-movement-than-virtually-all-of-his-critics-today/#disqus_thread

M_J_S on January 26, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Yeah, listened to his show today. He nailed it. Its amazing the amount of money, time and energy being spent attacking Newt instead of attacking Obama.

JeffVader on January 26, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Bob Dole Krypt Keeper????

portlandon on January 26, 2012 at 2:32 PM

No, that would be this thing

cableguy615 on January 26, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Will Dole be doing ads for Mittens now the way he did for viagra?

I mean – is this serious? Dole was an establishment candidate who LOST – and lost hard, just like McCain did – just like Mittens will.

Once mittens loses – is he going to go on the road like Dole did, after he lost, to start talking about his erectile dysfunction and his plastic surgery?

HondaV65 on January 26, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Will Dole be doing ads for Mittens now the way he did for viagra?

I mean – is this serious? Dole was an establishment candidate who LOST – and lost hard, just like McCain did – just like Mittens will.

Once mittens loses – is he going to go on the road like Dole did, after he lost, to start talking about his erect1le dysfunction and his plastic surgery?

HondaV65 on January 26, 2012 at 8:52 PM

It’s a beautiful thing to watch Nasty Newt get his comeuppance for being a corrupt lying narcissist jerk. Those who know Neutron Newt best, like him the least.

csdeven on January 26, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Comeupance? Seriously? Newtron waxed the streets of South Carolina with your boy’s brill creamed hair last week.

If not for the ass whipping that Newtron gave to Mittens – then RomneyCare would be the nominee already.

And … your boy is gonna have to defeat Newtron to the tune of something in excess of 10 percent in Florida – Florida is supposed to go Romney – if it don’t go big for him then count that as another fist to the face of RomneyCare.

It’s your boy that’s “scrambling” and is desperate. Newt was never meant to go the far – and I doubt he even dreamed he could get this far.

The reason he has is because Romney and his campaign are absolutely impotent.

Which is why it’s appropriate they got Bob Dole’s endorsement.

HondaV65 on January 26, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Polls are scripted for the people in shadows to succeed…

apocalypse on January 26, 2012 at 4:03 PM

And whiney excuses are for people who can’t face reality. Reality = Newt Gingrich has been exposed as a disgraceful, CORRUPT LIAR

bluegill on January 26, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Both Romney and Gingrich are the same garbage. Both of them are traitors. So what are you saying? You want change from this Republican field? There is never CHANGE you stupid jerk. There is never CHANGE! You guys are puppets just like the rest of the canditates you support!

apocalypse on January 26, 2012 at 11:48 PM

bluegill = lemming

apocalypse on January 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM

So, now Bob Dole and McCain have endorsed Romney. That’s a great set of reasons _not_ to vote for Romney. Seriously, how many center-of-the-road, play-too-friendly, milquetoast candidates are going to endorse the current center-of-the-road, play-too-friendly, milquetoast candidate running?

Theophile on January 27, 2012 at 1:51 AM

ex Dem from Miami

Now that you mention this, it probably is a great way.

No… Just no.

Frankly, at this point, listening to everyone’s best shots, I’m ready for the suicide bomber.

Alllau Akbar!
Hang on, you only have 9 months and 9 days more to go.

V7_Sport on January 27, 2012 at 2:37 AM

HondaV65… That’s like having the user name “tricycle’ or “scooter” or “Richard Simmons”.

V7_Sport on January 27, 2012 at 2:40 AM

Bob Dole anti-endorsing Gingrich is an endorsement in my book. I do not remember Dole as being a cost cutting small government advocate. He was just another “cut taxes but don’t touch spending” sort as I remember it. That leaves him as a Big Government critter. So his anti-endorsement of Gingrich is either a note that Gingrich as as nutty as Paul or that Gingrich is too “cut the size of government” for the establishment Republicans.

Coulter disliking Gingrich is a similar indication of a Gingrich lean towards smaller government. Coulter seems like she’s never figured out that any government big enough that can legislate her agenda can, two years later, legislate the opposite. You can be have your freedom to be good curtailed as easily as you can have your freedom to be bad curtailed.

So far Gingrich and Paul have, to vastly different degrees, adopted small government as a cause. Paul ignores the Constitutional requirement for a strong national defense. Gingrich does not. Gingrich has also figured out Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Salafists/Wahabbis are not our friends and can never be because of their core ideology.

I dislike Gingrich. He is erratic. I really dislike Romney and Paul. Sadly it looks like Santorum is out of the running. He might be a decent choice considering he does not MAKE laws, he can only suggest laws to Congress. Alas, he seems to lean quite a bit towards Big Government, too.

{^_^}

herself on January 27, 2012 at 4:37 AM

I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late.

Yes, before you die, great-grandpa.

rickv404 on January 27, 2012 at 6:53 AM

HondaV65… That’s like having the user name “tricycle’ or “scooter” or “Richard Simmons”.
 
V7_Sport on January 27, 2012 at 2:40 AM

 
It might just be friendly cafe racer banter, but the 100+hp V65 was the world’s fastest production bike in its time with <11 second 1/4 mile times.
 
Assuming it's one of the ~50hp modern V7s, a skilled rider on a well-kept 30 year old V65 could do the quarter and be almost stopped again before the Moto Guzzi had even reached the line.
 
Doesn't matter to me, though. I love 'em all.

rogerb on January 27, 2012 at 7:18 AM

Who gives a flying crap what Dole or McCain have to say.
Those two A$$holes should concentrate on keeping their Depends clean. Eff em Both.

Kuffar on January 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

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