Final polls show Romney with comfortable lead in Florida

posted at 9:15 am on January 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

It’s interesting to see how much the narrative has changed in the nine days since Newt Gingrich scored a double-digit victory in South Carolina.  At that time, the big story was whether Mitt Romney could weather a loss in Florida as the polls all flipped.  Two debates and a week later, the question today is just how big will Mitt Romney’s win tomorrow be.  That depends on which pollsters ask the question.

If one asks Democratic pollster PPP, it’s a seven-point split, with Romney up 39/32:

PPP’s second day of tracking in Florida finds little change in the state of the race. Mitt Romney leads with 39% to 32% for Newt Gingrich with Rick Santorum at 14% and Ron Paul at 11%. Romney and Santorum are both down a single point from Saturday’s polling while Paul has gained 2 points and Gingrich has stayed in place.

The reason we don’t find Gingrich getting blown out by a double digit margin in Florida is that he’s winning a lot of the same groups he did in South Carolina. He’s up 37-33 with Evangelicals, 40-33 with Tea Partiers, and 36-29 with voters who describe themselves as ‘very conservative.’  The problem for him is that he’s not winning those groups by the same kinds of margins that he did in the Palmetto State.

But PPP has a big caveat for Gingrich supporters:

Romney continues to have a large lead in the bank in Florida. 34% of our respondents said they’d already voted and with those folks he has a 45-33 lead.  That puts Gingrich in a position where he’d have to not only win the election day vote, but win it by 6 or 7 points to upset Romney in the state. The kind of reversal necessary to make that happen seems unlikely to occur in the next 48 hours.

Gingrich fans are more likely to cite the Insider Advantage numbers out this morning:

A new InsiderAdvantage poll conducted Sunday night of likely Republican voters in the state of Florida shows a significant surge for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The poll has former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leading with 36 percent of voters, followed by Gingrich at 31 percent.

IA claims to have prescience in this primary, as they were the first to catch Romney’s resurgence in Florida.  However, Romney’s resurgence had a couple of very obvious inflection points: the debates.  Nothing that has taken place since Thursday would indicate that the race has changed at all in Gingrich’s favor.

Finally, Quinnipiac reports that Romney still has a double-digit lead according to its sample of 539 likely primary voters:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a 43 – 29 percent lead over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich among Republican likely voters in Florida, the nation’s first big-state presidential primary, according to Quinnipiac University poll released today. Only 7 percent are undecided, but 24 percent say they might change their mind by tomorrow’s election

This compares to a 38 – 29 percent Romney lead in a January 27 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Contra PPP, the Q-poll shows Romney now winning conservatives, evangelicals, and even Tea Party voters, albeit by thin margins:

In today’s survey, self-described conservatives go to Romney 40 – 31 percent. He gets 38 percent of white evangelical Christians to Gingrich’s 33 percent and wins 40 percent of Tea Party members to Gingrich’s 35 percent.

How did Romney manage that? Gingrich’s favorability numbers have begun to fall, just as they did in the Rasmussen polls:

Romney gets a 64 – 25 percent favorability rating from likely primary voters, compared to 61 – 28 percent Friday. Gingrich has 51 – 42 percent favorability, compared to 50 – 28 percent Friday. Santorum is at 58 – 16 percent favorable, with a negative 35 – 45 percent for Paul.

I’d expect this to tighten up a little as the last of the undecideds make up their minds today, but that big lead in early voting is going to provide Romney a wide margin — perhaps eight or nine percent, unless something significant happens today.

Update: I meant eight or nine percent, not votes.  No, I wasn’t being funny.  And now I will take my coffee intravenously, thank you very much.


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WhatNot on January 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Wow, enlightening post. Thank you.
I had not heard a evangelical’s take on Catholicism, just Mormonism.
We need to leave religion out of this. God knows, the other side won’t.

ORconservative on January 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM

ORconservative,

If you want more information on this topic, read “The Church of Rome at the Bar of History” by William David Webster.

It would be nice if we could realize that excluding people based on their religion does not help support a civil society. This is a byproduct of the contempt Barak Obama has demonstrated against the things needed to maintain a civil society.

Conservatives support prudence and a civil society that benefited all citizens(e.g., Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny). There was a time when this restrained some anti-social behavior. Good times. Good times.

WhatNot on January 30, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Romney is a wimp.
Romney is to tough.
Romney will get his ass kicked.
Romney is a vulture
Romney destroyed Gingrich
Romney will not try to destroy Obama.

based on everything we’ve seen I think it’s safe to assume that Romney will do anything to win.

If he thinks trying to destroy obama will work he’ll do it.
If he doesn’t think it will work he won’t

my opinion is he will not do it directly but try to have the superpacs and his surrogates do it.

gerrym51 on January 30, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Hey Syzygy, Soros manipulating toward Gingrich never entered my mind. Listen to what Dummycrats are saying. They want RINO Romney, badly, because there are so many fronts with which the various factions of the radical left can so easily attack. “1%er” (absolutely and relentlessly the Soros-funded OWS crowd). Racism In Mormonism/Mormon Cultism (Axelrod and the MSM) ALL of the leftist stuff RINO Romney (imitating John Effing Kerry) was FOR before he was against, “He will say anything to get elected” mantra (abortion and gay marriage come to mind among other policies) will be the DNC attack message. Syzygy, they’ll have a $Billion of Soros money to relentlessly pound Willard (from the rat movie of the same name) with. Is everyone in this country BLIND??? Or just stupid (as in the STUPID Party)?????

Colatteral Damage on January 30, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Romney is covertly lying by using the media such as Drudge, Coulter, Town Hall and other media resources to spread and perpetuate lies, innuendo and prejudice to shape popular opinion against Gingrich. Turns out, Romney’s Bain Capital owns the company that owns Drudge. Who or what else does Romney own? St. Nikao on January 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Oh really? He has Drudge in his back pocket?
http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2011/11/14/20111114_201130.htm

http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2011/11/18/20111118_181506.htm

http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2011/11/13/20111113_022605.htm

Try again. Is this the best you can do? You can’t debate him on the issues so you resort to calling him a liar? I admit there are times he did flip flop on some issues, but he is hardly lying.

And another thing, would you really not vote for him if he was the nominee? You would rather not vote? Not voting is the same as voting for Obama.

TheNumberJ on January 30, 2012 at 4:56 PM

jfs756 on January 30, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Strong!
(Don’t forget to sit down)

KOOLAID2 on January 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM

If the great debater keeps shooting himself in the foot, Romney’s margin could be greater than expected; now he’s saying that he won’t debate Obama if the moderator is a reporter. Aren’t the moderators usually prominent reporters? Debates are supposed to be his strong suit. If he takes that off the table, it seems to me that it really hurts him.

It’s in Obama’s interest to keep the debates to a minimum, and Gingrich is playing right into his hands.

captn2fat on January 30, 2012 at 7:49 PM

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