Reuters/Ipsos poll has Mitt up by 11 in FLA with three days to go

We should probably warn you in advance not to get too excited about these results, but they’re popping the cork less than 72 before the polls open in the Sunshine State, so we’ll check in. Reuters/Ipsos finished a three day poll which seems to indicate a continuing trend of Mitt Romney opening up a comfortable lead in Florida.

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White House hopeful Mitt Romney widened his lead over rival Newt Gingrich to 11 percentage points in Florida, according to Reuters/Ipsos online poll results on Saturday, up from 8 points a day earlier, as he cemented his front-runner status in the Republican nomination race.

With just three days remaining before Florida’s Republican primary, Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, led Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, by 43 percent to 32 percent among likely voters in Florida’s January 31 primary, the online poll said.

He had led Gingrich by 41 percent to 33 percent in the online tracking poll on Friday.

“The momentum in Florida … really seems to be moving in Romney’s direction,” said Chris Jackson, research director for Ipsos Public Affairs.

The poll confirmed that Romney’s fortunes are turning around in Florida a week after a stinging setback when Gingrich scored an upset win in South Carolina’s primary.

First things first, this is yet another online poll, so take that with a grain of salt. Though, to be fair, the technology for online polling is actually beginning to improve as time goes by. But still, as always, we tend to look more at trends than the hard numbers in any given snapshot and this one is trending in the same direction as most of the rest. The combined Real Clear Politics total as of this afternoon actually has Romney up by +8.2 but trending in the same direction.

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This may not be terribly shocking news. Even when you roll in the Super PAC money, Romney is outspending the field in Florida’s hugely expensive media market by a fair margin, and that’s got to take a toll eventually. One interesting note, though: while he’s probably still much too far back for any significant chance, the small amount that Newt slipped in this poll from the last outing seems to have gone to Rick Santorum, not Mitt. Santorum bumped up to 16 from 13, which may be yet another sign that disillusioned “Not Mitt” voters are still not entirely ready to “fall in line” with Mr. Inevitable.

We should have three more sets of numbers with live interviews coming – one on Sunday and two on Monday. A roughly ten point gap is certainly not insurmountable in two days time, so we’ll keep an eye out in case any last ditch appeals or fumbles signal a change in the air.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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