(CNN) - Mitt Romney's attention may currently be on South Carolina, but a poll released Monday shows the former Massachusetts governor running well ahead of his rivals in Florida.
Romney had the backing of 42% of likely Florida Republican primary voters in the poll from the American Research Group. That was well ahead of his closest competitor Newt Gingrich, who was at 25%. Florida's January 31 primary is the site of the next battle after Saturday's South Carolina contest.
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The poll from ARG was taken January 13-15, when results from New Hampshire's primary were known. Romney won New Hampshire decisively, with 39% of the vote.
A poll from Quinnipiac University taken before the New Hampshire primary also showed Romney leading in Florida at 36%. In that poll, Gingrich was at 24%.
Both polls show a sharp drop in Florida since November, when Gingrich surged ahead of the pack. An ARG survey then showed 50% of Florida Republican voters backing Gingrich.
The former House speaker has since been the subject of scathing attack ads from an independent organization supporting Romney, and suffered disappointing results in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
Other candidates in the GOP race all polled in the single digits in the new ARG poll. Rick Santorum was at 9%, Ron Paul was at 8%, and Rick Perry stood at 3%.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who announced Monday he was dropping his bid for the White House, was at 5% in Florida, according to the ARG poll.
ARG polled 600 likely Republican voters by telephone from January 13-15. The sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.
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This is a surprise to anyone? I'll be surprised when Ron Paul endorses Romney. That would be a change.
I hope he dose a photo opp with Govener Rick Scott .
Two of a kind !
We have been bombarded, in Florida, with Mittens' ads and Mittens negative PAC ads of lies for weeks. It appears that Mittens is the only person with the money to spend in Florida. Our seniors, retired veterans and unemployed workers will support Mittens because he has promised to take away their benefits, and they think he is kidding.
Why must we be put into the insane cycle of political polls. ARG polled 600 likely Republican voters by telephone from January 13-15. 600 hundred people are deciding for the entire state of Florida?!?! LOL WHATEVER
I wonder how the senior citizens will like paying big corporate insurance companies and HMOs after Romney gives them Medicare? When people choose not to have health insurance will we let them die on the table? Really? How did that pharmaceutical "deal" President Bush gave us work out? It worked out fine for the pharmaceutical firms – even after you take away the huge sums they gave Republican candidates.
Does anybody really trust the Republicans with Social Security? They talk about giving you "your" money to invest rather than having the "government" invest if for you. How many Americans are skilled enough to create a bullet-proof retirement income out of their Social Security investment? If people were willing and able to make those investments why was Social Security created in the first place? How long will it take predatory financial weasels to go after these investments? If people lose all of their Social Security investments will we allow them to starve to death or will they go on welfare? Will Wall Street bail them out?
Remember seniors of Florida. Romney will take away your Social Security and Medicare. Romney is a Wall Street insider with an agenda that includes ending all social programs and ending your grandchildren the right to have a good paying
The Republican Party is no longer the party of Reagan.
Is this any surprise? Look at what they let buy the Governors seat. A genuine Medicare fraud specialist. A genuine crook that bilked the Federal government (us taxpayers). Way to go Florida GOP voters... you must be proud!
"I have a dream"! Seeing Romney's tax returns, long form birth certificate, and marriage certificate (long form, please)!
The gap in FL will get much narrower quickly if Newt finishes within 5 % in SC.
Go Romney GO !!!!
Romney debate performance was worst today , still Florida GOPers wants to vote Romney best of luck
"I'll be surprised when Ron Paul endorses Romney."
Count on it, and don't be surprised. Karl Rove's Plan to Elect the Next Neocon Robot requires that all parts of the GOBP deathcult coalesce around Robot. Therefore, Rove will do, say, promise or pay whatever it takes. I hope Ron Paul has the integrity his supporters claim he has. However, I also suspect Karl Rove will find the right lever and we'll be discussing Ron Paul's "sell-out" in the weeks to come.