New poll suggests Gingrich surging in Florida
January 25th, 2012
08:27 AM ET
3 years ago

New poll suggests Gingrich surging in Florida

Jacksonville, Florida (CNN) - What a difference a big win can make.

A new poll indicates that since Newt Gingrich's double digit victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary, the former House speaker's surged among people likely to vote in next Tuesday's Republican presidential primary, and he's moved ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

CNN LIVE: Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate hosted by Wolf Blitzer and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the Florida primary, go to CNNPolitics.com and on the CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android or other phones.

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According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning, Romney is at 36% support, with Gingrich at 34%, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 13%, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 10%, and seven percent undecided. Romney's two point margin is well within the poll's sampling error.

The survey was conducted Thursday through Monday, both before and after the South Carolina primary. Looking at the numbers for Thursday through Saturday, before the results of the Palmetto State contest were known, Romney had a 37% to 26% lead over Gingrich, with Santorum and Paul each at 15%.

But looking just at Sunday and Monday numbers, after the news of Gingrich's big win in South Carolina, the former House speaker has a 40% to 34% advantage over Romney, with Santorum at 11% and Paul at 6%.

"Florida is essentially a dead heat and a two-man race between Gov. Mitt Romney and Speaker Newt Gingrich entering the last week of the campaign," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Gingrich's South Carolina victory clearly gives him a boost in Florida. The question is whether there is more of that to come, or whether any bump from a previous victory will dissipate as happened to Rick Santorum in New Hampshire after winning Iowa and Romney in South Carolina after taking New Hampshire."

According to the survey, 38% say they might change their mind on which candidate they are backing, and there's little difference among Gingrich and Romney supporters in terms of thinking they may alter their decision.

The poll indicates that Romney is viewed as more likely to best handle the economy and shares the most values with voters, while Gingrich is seen by more those questioned as having the knowledge and experience to be president, being a strong leader and best at dealing with foreign policy.

According to the survey, Gingrich has a 37%-33% margin over Romney among men while Romney holds a 38%-31% advantage over Gingrich among women. Gingrich has a 13-point lead over Romney among those who describe themselves as white evangelical Christians and leads by 15 points among self-described tea party movement supporters.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted January 19-23, with 601 likely GOP primary voters in Florida questioned by phone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN

Also see:

Live blog: 2012 State of the Union

New Freddie Mac contract prohibits 'lobbying activities'

Romney resets image with postcards from the edge

Gingrich gets major help


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Newt Gingrich • Polls
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Mike from Calgary

    Did GIngrich supporters help orchestrate Mitt "I lke to fire people" Romney's speech yesterday in the shut-down factory warehouse yeterday moning. The photo op of Romney and a closed factory seemed very fitting. And didn't Mitt Romney look marvelous with his Cayman Island suntan and his Swiss watch.

    January 25, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  2. Glades2

    Being part of the Vietnam draft, I completely forgot that George Romney was Mitt Romney's Dad, and became known during the 1968 election. Glad he released his tax forms, but to have a multi-millionaire for President just doesn't sit well with me, because it sounds too monarchy-like – the wealthy leader and the large and mostly poor working population. Sure, most Presidents had at least some wealth, but to earn that much just from investments is not good for someone in the role as leader. Newt may have his faults – but tell me that all of the others didn't have any – those who live in glass houses...

    January 25, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  3. west

    Voting for Newt is like voting for a third party canidate, wasting you vote.

    January 25, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  4. Daniel

    Gag, if the people of Florida are this gulible we deserve what is coming to us with this baboon as our leader.

    January 25, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. John in Brooklyn

    Love it. Let them beat each other senseless.

    January 25, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. KMW

    Go Newt! Keep surging in the polls because we need change. Good bye Obama.

    January 25, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  7. Larry

    If he were the republican nominee it would guarantee that many independents hispanics and gays would vote for obama. Its actually that way w most of the republicans because they're too busy hating taking and padding their buddies pockets

    January 25, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. Really?

    Really..... This is what the republicans of our great nation want? The same people who persecuted Clinton, destroyed the housing market, promote bigitry and hate for fellow Americans based on religon.... Want Gingrich....The man who has had almost every high ranking official who has worked with him BASH everything about him.... The man who will bring Sarah "Reality Tv" Palin as his vp. Not to mention the seriously awful person he is in his own personal life or his sticky past with Freddie Mac.... The republican party is in desperate need of more men like Ron Paul.

    January 25, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Is this mean gingrich will get nominate for gop

    January 25, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. RealityCheck

    Your polls can "surge" all day long, but the bottomline is: He's never going to win the presidency in anyones lifetime....to include his.

    January 25, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. brevardmom

    I live in Florida and I don't know anyone who is going to vote for Newt! He is never going to be president... Even if we all have to vote for Obama. Here is Newt's ideas... If you have lived in the country illegally long enough- you can stay... If you have cheated on your wife long enough... she should let you continue as long as the other women doesn't care...
    If you want to help poor kids, you should fire their parents and make them work for $2 per hour.... (well even if it doesn't help poor people, it would save his buddies money and keep poor people poor by keeping them out of the classroom and in the hallways sweeping! There is no way America is voting for this nut... we need to give them an alternative!

    January 25, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Bubba Gump

    Come on we are talking about Florida! State that elected the last "C" student failure as President. Florida will remain poor and ignorant stil blaming the rest of the country for their failure. One would think electing Scott wasn't enough?

    January 25, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  13. Eye of Newt

    This is outstanding news! Gingrich is a disgusting, ego maniacal hypocrite who represents the worst a human being can be. He doesn't have a chance. Its great to see morally bankrupt republicans throw themselves off the cliff like so many lemmings.

    January 25, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. John_Dunkel

    This is a lost battle. Without Ron Paul as the front runner Obama will sweep the votes and be president for another 4 years.

    January 25, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  15. not2bad

    How does Ron Paul lose when his answers follow the Constitution, the Rule of Law and the Justice System, and for protecting your liberty, and saving our economy?? So you actually prefer the three stooges who tell you what you want to hear flip flopping and not giving straight answers? I know let's start a war with Iran now. Wow! Just what we need right?? Ron Paul isn't a smooth speaker. So what? At least he doesn't lie and blow smoke up your butt. I don't want a Presidential candidate to tell me stories and tell me what I want to hear. I prefer someone to get our house in order and Ron Paul is the guy right now to get things turned around in our Country. Not more of the same same ...bankruptcy and nothing new.

    January 25, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. GoNewt

    Yes, this is what I'm talking about! Great choices Republicans have this year : flip-flopping lier 1% Romney or an unelectable nut job Newt. Go Newt! If I could I'd vite for you as it's the same as voting for Obama!

    January 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. Brad

    We're screwed.

    January 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. Pat

    Florida loves Freddie & Fannie Mae. Thats why.

    January 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Don

    I can't believe the GOP is going to self destruct right beforee our eyes. Florida must be trying to make up fo rthe Bush – Gore fiasco. Long live the frings right wing

    January 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Kenny K

    @tp1776

    You are right on about Mitt. He should have stood his ground like Huntsman and refuse visit to Trump nor succumb to Tea Party tantrum.

    January 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. Ashley

    I am an Independent and would only support Romney now that Huntsman is out. Gingrich defines what is wrong in politics and making your fortune from politics is a problem, making a fortune in business is not. Also, I hope people read this as I need to clarify something for Romney. His comment about not earning much from speeches is relative. I was in Chicago over five years ago when Clinton was paid 1M for a speech to the Jewish United Fund, that is what he meant by not much. Newt is a disaster and Obama would have my vote if Mitt does not get the nomination.

    January 25, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  22. Nick

    As a lifelong Republican, if Gingrich wins the nomination, I will completely disavow this party of evangelical hypocrites and so called 'conservatives'. A Gingrich GOP nomination = an Obama vote from me, barring any 3rd party nominee. It sickens me how all the Bible-thumpers are going for Gingrich... a freaking no-morals swinger... yet they have 'doubts' about Romney being Mormon. Un-freaking-believable.

    January 25, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  23. Ken

    As a liberal, I would love to see Newt win and go against Obama in November. This would guarantee Obama's re-election.

    January 25, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. slayer1000

    House Minority Leader NANCY PELOSI is holding back some information on NEWT GINGRICH that could detract from his Presidential campaign..."When the time is right",she said. "I know a lot about him". Pelosi served on the Investigative Ethics Committee that investigated Gingrich for tax cheating as well as other things a few years ago.
    NANCY PELOSI said in a interview with CNN's John King, about NEWT GINGRICH, "He’s not going to be President of the United States. That’s not going to happen. Let me just make my prediction and stand by it, THAT isn’t going to happen.”When King: asked “Why are you so sure"? PELOSI simple answered, “There is something I know".

    January 25, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. gt

    if the gop is that stupid ... let them sink to the bottom... newt is pathedic

    January 25, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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