Suffolk poll: Romney stronger in FL than Gingrich against Obama by 14 points

posted at 8:40 am on January 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday evening, Suffolk University released a poll of likely voters in Florida — but not for the Republican primary.  Instead, they surveyed 600 likely Florida voters in the general election, and found some interesting dynamics in a state that will be crucial to the strategies of both parties in the Electoral College fight:

Despite Newt Gingrich’s momentum within the Republican Party, he would be a weaker contender than Mitt Romney in a general election contest against President Barack Obama, according to a Suffolk University/7NEWS (WSVN-Miami) poll of likely voters in Florida.

Romney led Obama by 47 percent to 42 percent in the Florida survey, while Obama topped Gingrich by 9 points, 49 percent to 40 percent. Among independents, Obama led Romney 44 percent to 38 percent and opened up a 56 percent to 29 percent advantage over Gingrich. Gingrich grabbed 12 percent of registered Democrats, while Romney secured 18 percent of registered Democrats.

“Newt Gingrich is weak among Florida independents and likely Democratic voters compared to Romney,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “If Florida is one of six key states that swings the national election, independents in Florida hold that key, and this poll suggests that Newt won’t be able to secure Florida for his party.”

That’s a difference of 14 points between the two head-to-head matchups (Romney +5, Gingrich -9).  This poll comes as Gingrich’s momentum has slowed with Republicans in the state, and it reflects the wide disparity in favorability between the two men in Florida.  Mitt Romney has a positive but somewhat weak 44/37 favorability rating, but Gingrich’s is deeply negative at exactly a 2:1 ratio, 29/58 in a sample that is only a D+4, 41/37/23.   Barack Obama’s job approval rating among likely Florida voters is only a 40/49, which means that Obama only outperforms his job approval by two against Romney but nine against Gingrich.  Obama’s favorability numbers are also underwater at 47/48, which means voters aren’t inclined toward him anyway.

Plenty of speculation surrounds Marco Rubio as a running mate for Republicans to help keep Florida in the red column in November, but the Suffolk poll suggests that may be a bad idea.  The survey only polled head-to-head with running mates with Romney as the nominee, and adding Rubio makes it a slightly closer race.  As popular as Rubio is with conservatives nationwide, his favorability in Florida is just 43/32 — not bad, but not explosively great either.  Romney goes from a +5 at 47/42 against Obama to a +2 for a Romney-Rubio vs Obama-Biden ticket.  If Obama picks Hillary Clinton to replace Joe Biden, it swings the polling significantly to a seven-point lead over Romney-Rubio, 49/42.  Interestingly, having Chris Christie on the ticket for Romney makes it a one-point race with Biden or Clinton on the ticket for Obama, although with Clinton, Obama gets a one-point lead rather than a deficit.

Gingrich might still win a Florida primary, which is closed to all but Republicans, but he’s going to make it significantly more difficult to win Florida in a general election, unless his numbers change a lot.


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Let’s put our faith in polls that are taken before ANY GENERAL election campaign is run.

I am not arguing for Newt when I saw these electability polls are STUPID!!!!!!!!!!

The general election is a referendum on Obama. These polls are a referendum on Newt vs Romney and those ARE NOT a result that reflects one would win and one would lose.

I would remind you McCain did exceedingly well in these electability polls and thus everybody voted for him without any thought of how he matched up against Obama.

You won’t make the dent in Obama’s numbers with the same squish that people quack that they like in the primaries.

THE GENERAL PUBLIC ALWAYS LIKES THE MOST MODERATE REPUBLICAN AND THEN DOESN”T SEE THEM AS A STRONG PRESIDENT IN THE GENERAL!!!!

Conan on January 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

kingsjester on January 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM

It is like pavlovs dog with you. I could burp and you feel compelled to roll out the troll adjectives.

Looks like its me living rent free in your head my internet cuddlebuddy.

Bradky on January 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

canopfor on January 26, 2012 at 9:24 AM
—————————————

G’day, canopfor. Yes, she did have a scare, but the target was Tony Abbot (opposition leader) for suggesting that the forty year old tent city be torn down. (It should never have been allowed to be set up).

OldEnglish on January 26, 2012 at 9:39 AM

OldEnglish:Yes Good Day eh,ya I don’t know much of the story,er
history about that,I posed it,with video,on QOTD,page
#7!:)
(canopfor on January 26, 2012 at 5:25 AM)

canopfor on January 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

THE GENERAL PUBLIC ALWAYS LIKES THE MOST MODERATE REPUBLICAN AND THEN DOESN”T SEE THEM AS A STRONG PRESIDENT IN THE GENERAL!!!!

Conan on January 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Good point. I’m deaf now, but good point. :)

Axe on January 26, 2012 at 9:48 AM

It is like pavlovs dog with you. I could burp and you feel compelled to roll out the troll adjectives.

Looks like its me living rent free in your head my internet cuddlebuddy.

Bradky on January 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

You started it. I was ignoring you…like everybody else does around here.

kingsjester on January 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM

kingsjester on January 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM

see you answered again within a couple of minutes. DING!

Bradky on January 26, 2012 at 9:51 AM

kingsjester

Hey cuddle buddy! yeah, making fun of the dude that is obsessed with you.

bazil9 on January 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM

According to Drudge and Fox, it’s time to fall in line people… like good little Hobbits.

TitularHead on January 26, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Yes, the fix is indeed in–and with all of the subtlety of Dolly Parton in an Amish church.

You know, I’d almost rather see Ron Paul get the nod over a feckless squish like Romney. At least Paul has personal conviction; he doesn’t need a focus group to tell him what he should say or do.

This election should have been a cakewalk against a soul-sucking, demoralizing Democrat, just as it was in 1980. Too bad it won’t be.

Dime IV on January 26, 2012 at 9:56 AM

canopfor on January 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Sorry, missed your post – I didn’t get to the QOTD thread (it’s usually very late down here).

OldEnglish on January 26, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Rubio does not meet the Constitutional requirements. He is not a natural-born citizen.

Dante on January 26, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Birther!

The good news for us is that Sen. Marco Rubio is eligible to be elected president in 2012. And so are Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley. There’s been a lot of attention devoted to the original meaning of “natural born citizen of the United States,” the governing phrase from Art. II, Sec. 1 of the Constitution. Happily, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution resolves this question for us.

Clearly, says this respected source, what the Founders sought to avoid was foreign intrigue, or intriguers, becoming president. Wise Founders. (Too bad they didn’t also say “Marxists need not apply.”)

The Guide cites the estimable John Jay, our first Chief Justice, who during the Constitutional Convention wrote to George Washington in 1787 to urge that “a strong check [be included] to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.” (Don’t you love how Jay capitalizes Citizen?)

Do you have to be born within the territorial limits of the United States to be such a citizen? No, said the Founders. The Heritage Foundation’s Guide shows how the First Congress in 1790 provided that “the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond the sea or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born.” This was our first naturalization statute (1 Stat. 104). This Congress contained many Members, notably James Madison himself, who had just framed the Constitution in Philadelphia.

-snip-

Now, consider Marco Rubio. His parents were resident aliens when he was born in 1971, seeking and soon to receive their status as naturalized U.S. citizens. Under the Fourteenth Amendment, “all persons born…in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the states wherein they reside.” This “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause shows why Rubio is — and, very likely, why children of illegal aliens are not — a “natural born citizen of the United States.”

Del Dolemonte on January 26, 2012 at 10:19 AM

THE GENERAL PUBLIC ALWAYS LIKES THE MOST MODERATE REPUBLICAN AND THEN DOESN”T SEE THEM AS A STRONG PRESIDENT IN THE GENERAL!!!!

What is this argument based upon? We’ve had four moderates run on the GOP ticket in the last three decades: Bush I, Dole, GWB, and McCain. The win/loss record looks pretty close, and in all of the losses we can seek external factors that played strongly against the GOP contender. Bush I had to compete in a three-way race in a slow economy, and Dole had to run against a popular Democrat in a good economy, and after a politically disastrous government shutdown (under the leadership of…Newt!)McCain had to run against a media sensation at the very outbreak of a huge economic crisis happening during a Republican administration. What then leads one to say that moderate Republicans can’t win general elections. Reagan? Yes, he was able to articulate solidly conservative principles, but he too was aided by outside events. And who here really wants to argue that Newt is the next Reagan?

EricW on January 26, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Why yes, let’s nominate the most spineless nominee and for good measure, let’s add a Christie or Rubio for VP. Jeebus people, you really don’t want to win Ohio. Are your minds so short that you don’t remember that Kasich got rebuked with SB5 with big numbers? And let me add that this site advertised for that to happen with web ads. Priceless. No wonder I was taught the Republican party is the stupid party. Actually no common sense either.

noneoftheabove on January 26, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Guessing you are one of the bums that voted down SB5. Not sure what Rubio does to hurt our chances in Ohio, since everyone and their mother wanted him on our ticket for the longest time. That is, until he mangled Newt.

How does Newt connect with the dedicated loserdom in the post-industrial states better than Mitt? If Mitt had gotten his mittens on those industries perhaps they would have survived.

antisense on January 26, 2012 at 10:21 AM

For all who may be interested in the Drudge “factor” this is certainly an article that makes you go hmmmmmm.

http://www.damndirtyrino.com/2011/10/04/the-drudge-romney-axis/

MontanaMmmm on January 26, 2012 at 10:22 AM

This election should have been a cakewalk against a soul-sucking, demoralizing Democrat, just as it was in 1980. Too bad it won’t be.

Dime IV on January 26, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Amen. I hate how the Press is able to lie to such an extent they choose our nominee. The Grand Old Party sure is stupid. Like people say the Stupid Party. Listen to the Press and follow the establishment wonks like lemmings.

I mean even Glenn Beck now thinks Romney is more conservative than Gingrich. The facts mean nothing Romney ruled Mass as a bleeding liberal. Newt Congress as a strong conservative. But pay no attention to the facts just believe Romney’s lies that he was conservative and ignore Newts real record and concentrate on a couple of compromises he made to get bigger things done. I mean no one ever votes for one bill to get another passed unless they truly believe in every line of that bill.

Steveangell on January 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM

but Gingrich’s is deeply negative at exactly a 2:1 ratio

Deeply, fundamentally negative? /Newt

acasilaco on January 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Del Dolemonte on January 26, 2012 at 10:19 AM

“the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond the sea or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born.”

His parents were not citizens.

What am I missing?

Axe on January 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I laugh as everyone becomes a birther now to take their revenge on Rubio because he deigned to muck up Newtron.

antisense on January 26, 2012 at 10:26 AM

The numbers against Gingrich among Indies in this poll are very disturbing.

Florida is a huge state with a very diverse electorate, as people found out during the 2000 recounts, with Gore getting 65%+ in Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) and 60% in Palm Beach County, while Bush got 65%+ in Lee County (Fort Myers) and most of the Panhandle, and the I-4 corridor from Tampa through Orlando to Daytona tends to swing the state.

It’s difficult for any pollster to get an accurate idea of the opinions such a huge and diverse population with a sample of 600 people. It would be worth checking WHERE in Florida most of these people live, which would affect the results of a poll.

Most of us here at Hot Air admire Senator Marco Rubio as a solid conservative, but we should remember that he won election with barely 50% of the vote in a 3-way race after Charlie Crist tacked left and split the lefty vote with a weak Democrat. In a two-way race without a Crist-like spoiler, the Republican nominee will need to do well among Independent voters, and conservative Floridians (possibly including Rubio) might keep that in mind, and may choose Romney as the candidate best able to beat Obama.

Florida has 29 electoral votes this year, and it would be nearly impossible for the Republican nominee to win the Presidency while losing Florida. Floridian voters are probably very keenly aware of “electability” when voting in their primaries…

Steve Z on January 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Del Dolemonte on January 26, 2012 at 10:19 AM

PS: Not really asking :) The test now isn’t the test then, and I know it, and I lost the argument a long time ago. I’m just trying to point it out.

Axe on January 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM

The good news for me is that I would like to see Romney and Gingrich fade and Santorum to rise. However, between Romney and Gingrich, I’ll take the fighter. It will be easier to keep someone who has a conservative history on the conservative reservaton than to drag a moderate onto the conservative reservation. Hope springs eternal! We’ll see what shakes out.

KickandSwimMom on January 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Me too and the Romney people have been so adamant here telling us we are not welcome to THEIR party and they don’t want our votes because we ask questions about their perfect little man (and have you noticed how often this perfect speciman lies? And try as I may, I cannot get that dog tied to the roof of his car out of my head. It just does not jive with with my preconceived notions of “good”.)

Portia46 on January 26, 2012 at 10:33 AM

“the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond the sea or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born.”

His parents were not citizens.

What am I missing?

Axe on January 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM

A few months ago, some on the left were criticizing Sen. Rubio for claiming that his parents fled Castro, when in fact they had left Cuba prior to Castro’s rise to power in 1959, although his mother had returned to Cuba briefly in 1962.

But since Marco Rubio was born in Florida in 1971, this would have given his parents plenty of time to become U.S. citizens before Marco’s birth.

That’s what you’re missing, Axe!

Steve Z on January 26, 2012 at 10:35 AM

I laugh as everyone becomes a birther now to take their revenge on Rubio because he deigned to muck up Newtron.

antisense on January 26, 2012 at 10:26 AM

I don’t think that is an appropriate use of the word deign. Regardless, I agree with your point. Watch the anti-Rubio brigade march on with orders from Newty.

Capitalist Hog on January 26, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Ed, polls are meaningless. Poll after poll showed McCain beating Obama in 2007 through early 2008, but then the election happened and Obama won.

PLEASE people, PLEASE let’s not be stupid and pick our candidate because of polls again.

joshleguern on January 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I think all religion is equally wacky. That being said I don’t like Romney because he’s a liberal with a very liberal record in MA. I realize there are some fools out there who vote based on religion. Don’t lump all of us anti-Romney people in that group.

angryed on January 26, 2012 at 9:17 AM

HA HA HA

I also hate Mormons.

angryed on January 20, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Nuf said.

Gunlock Bill on January 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Beware statistics that say Rubio’s popularity…blah blah, that is a statewide opinion, not likely voters, not just Republicans, not just conservatives, not just latinos.

It is a flawed contention.

A lot of those people who don’t like Rubio, think Debbie Blabbermouth is the bee’s knees.

Fleuries on January 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM

A few months ago, some on the left were criticizing Sen. Rubio for claiming that his parents fled Castro, when in fact they had left Cuba prior to Castro’s rise to power in 1959, although his mother had returned to Cuba briefly in 1962.

Steve Z on January 26, 2012 at 10:35 AM

That’s right. That was ugly. They tried to take it away from him; he said they couldn’t go home, so exactly what does it take to qualify as flight?

I think that’s when I got to really meet him. :)

k.

Axe on January 26, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I don’t know how useful that early polling really is though.

Axe on January 26, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Any given poll on any given day, not much.

But multiple polls, across time, measuring different variables… at some point, the picture should become clear whether someone is likely to get creamed or not.

Newt is very likely to get creamed, and take the GOP with him.

JohnGalt23 on January 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Hit single of the Day from delusional Newtrons:

A Side La la la la la la we can’t hear you.
B Side: Secret Agent Man

Buy Danish on January 26, 2012 at 10:51 AM

canopfor on January 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM
Sorry, missed your post – I didn’t get to the QOTD thread (it’s usually very late down here).

OldEnglish on January 26, 2012 at 10:08 AM

OldEnglish:I don’t blame ya,crap,its almost 1000 comments!:)

canopfor on January 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

SPEWT!

M240H on January 26, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Gingrich lost me with his immigration stance. All illegals must return home and get in line with the rest of the people who want to come to this country and are doing it legally.

jqc1970 on January 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM

From the Boss Emeritus
INDEED: RomneyCare = ObamaCare
http://michellemalkin.com/2012/01/26/confirmed-romneycare-obamacare/

Czar of Defenestration on January 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM

antisense on January 26, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Guess again mittbot. While I was doing door to doors and phone banks against repeal, this site was advertising AGAINST SB5. So does that make HotAir OWS? Are you one or are you just cleverly in disguise as someone intelligent?

noneoftheabove on January 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 26, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Nice try, but the amendment says this:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

It does not say natural-born citizens, just citizens.

And now, Section I, Article II

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

Dante on January 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM

But since Marco Rubio was born in Florida in 1971, this would have given his parents plenty of time to become U.S. citizens before Marco’s birth.

That’s what you’re missing, Axe!

Steve Z on January 26, 2012

Yeah, it was plenty of time for them. But, they didn’t. And, therefore, “Amazing Marco” is a native born American citizen and does not meet the qualifications for President. See: Constitution, U.S., of the.

Horace on January 26, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I laugh as everyone becomes a birther now to take their revenge on Rubio because he deigned to muck up Newtron.

antisense on January 26, 2012 at 10:26 AM

And I’m saddened more and more so-called conservatives have no regard for the Constitution or are unwilling to discuss it.

Dante on January 26, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Florida has been seriously infected by that dreaded LEMMING bacteria, Mhit-For-Brains!!! The Republicrat establishment carried the disease, Mhit-For-Brains from New Hampshire, almost wiped out South Carolina before the TEA folks rose up, and now
so-called conservatives in Florida seem to have been struck down!!!
Mhit-For-Brains, the dreaded LEMMING disease, causes otherwise rational people to follow the Republicrat establishment right off the cliff!!! You know, the same cliff they threw Granny over!!!
Mhit-For-Brains takes away one’s ability to exercise ANY common sense!!!

Colatteral Damage on January 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Florida has been seriously infected by that dreaded LEMMING bacteria, Mhit-For-Brains…
Colatteral Damage on January 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Concur CD!
Re: Your damage analysis viz Floridian outbreak
of the infectious bacterium “Mhit-For-Brains(MFB)”.
The contagious dementia is apparently spread
via the Rino vector of the lefthanded media and
mucking mitty minions – thus inflating the numbers
of the pestilence population. The epidemiology Lab has
assessed the natural breakdown of the residual toxins
plaguing the Sunshine State to be within the range of 24/36 hrs.
Therefore it is predicted ‘scales will fall from the eyes’
of the majority of the infected victims prior to Election Day.

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on January 27, 2012 at 1:37 AM

I laugh as everyone becomes a birther now to take their revenge on Rubio because he deigned to muck up Newtron.

antisense on January 26, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Rubio IS A SELLOUT. No Conservative in their right mind would defend Romney if they are “neutral” let alone say Romney is “Conservative”.

Sorry, this election is about the base, either we nominate John Boehner, I mean Mitt Romney, as another RINO or we get a Conservative in there and take the party forward.

Nominating Romney is a lose, because the base will not come out for Romney and when he loses, the base will leave the GOP.

M_J_S on January 27, 2012 at 3:12 AM

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