New poll suggests Gingrich surging in Florida
January 25th, 2012
08:27 AM ET
2 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

    I thought that the GOP would never put out a candidate who was clearly more arrogant and full of himself than they view Obama, but then they go and prove me wrong...

    January 25, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. skippy

    Mitt has a LOT of faults but why would any thinking, rational person vote for Newt Gingrich?

    January 25, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. Yrch

    How is this guy winning? Hes completely unethical. Just look at when he was kicked out of being speaker of the house because of it.

    Romney is a flip flopping, two timing, job killing money chaser.

    Obama is just a joke. inexperienced and paid off by special interest groups (then again who isnt?)

    I know who. Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul 2012.

    January 25, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. tom

    Most of the political commentators I've read, seem to be puzzled by how well Newt is doing, given all his baggage and defects. For me, its not surprising at all. From all the posts I have read here and on other websites, its clear that there are a lot of very angry right wingers out there who blame Obama and the democrats for everything under the sun. These folks who make up the GOP base, are looking for a candidate that expresses their anger and their views. Leadership, integrity, christian morals, etc. are secondary, in my opinion. Newt is inflammatory, divisive, belligerent and rude, just like most of the conservative posters I read up here. These are people who deliberately go out of their way to make someone angry or insult, just for the sake of doing it. This is why Newt is doing so well. They LOVE IT!

    I predict that Newt will win the nomination but lose the election to Obama. Why? Because Newt will scare the democrats into getting out there and voting, plus I don't think Newt will do well with independent voters (like me) because he offers no detailed plans and his track record back when he was House Majority Leader, was poor. Remember the government shutdown? While that kind of activity appeals to angry conservatives and tea partiers, it won't appeal to the independents and they are critical to deciding who wins.

    January 25, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. tv22

    I'm sure the people in Florida can tell their own histories with Freddie Mac. I continue to find it amazing that anyone would vote for this guy. If the ethics and moral issues don't turn you off, the fact that he was run out of the House leadership (ironically, his elected successor never assumed the position because he had an extramarital affair), then wouldn't the fac that he's a blowhard spouting off whatever comes into his mind do the trick? How can anyone envision he'd ever be able to work with Congress when not only the Dems are against him but a good number of Republicans are too?

    The good news is that Newt would never win a general election and the true Republicans – the ones who want the government to work, not blow it up – would potentially be able to actually govern rather than the no-compromise types we have today.

    Winning arguments is not the best quality a President needs. The best quality a President needs is to win the legislative victories while making the other side think they've won.

    January 25, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. WWRRD

    If this is true the GOP is committing suicide.

    January 25, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. Harrison

    Even the republicans that worked with this guy don't like him. what are they thinking?

    January 25, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. bill

    If women ever figure out that voting isn't about which person LOOKS the sexiest, this country might be ok. After all, they are the ones who put the pretty boy with the flappy ears in the White House and look where that got us.

    January 25, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    I cannot imagine that the national Repugnican't leaders will allow Newt Kingrinch to become the party's candidate, however, if he gets the delegates, who's to stop him? Assuming that Kingrinch perseveres and ends up in a contest with Obama, look for the dirtiest, mud-slingingest, bad-mouthing, Super-Pac driven campaign we have seen in many a decade. Kingrinch and his followers will stop at nothing to gain the presidency.

    January 25, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. TexasTruth

    This self-absorbed arrogant egomaniac will never be president of the US.

    January 25, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Really?

    @ Slayer1000
    That is awesome! I hope she has something good. How great would it be to see Newt get the nomination then have to remove himself in embarressment this summer! Oh please let it be so!

    January 25, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. sayer

    He's surging with white male evangelical GOPers in the south. They don't speak for the rest of the country. Iowa and NH proved that. Relax.

    January 25, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. Nick

    Seriously though, it's time for a legitimate third party of moderate conservatives. This Tea Party idiocy had destroyed the Republican base... The GOP is too far right, the Dems too far left, and if you try to be in the middle, like I believe most people are, your left with little choice in the matter. Guess it's time to go Independant until something changes.

    January 25, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Mark

    You people who vote for Newt get what you deserve, especially you women. This man is a creep and you want him to hold the high position. At least Mitt worked for his money and is a family man whereas Newt can just go from woman to woman while married. An you women like that? Gross! Whatever!

    January 25, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Brenda

    Emotion is what people respond to. Somehow this arrogant, blowhard has reached into the souls of Floridians. I am a conservative Republican and a Romney supporter. I cannot see myself supporting Newt for the "party". I do not think he would be better than Obama. Newt is going to turn a lot of us off.

    January 25, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Anonymous

    With 37% of SC voters making their decision 3 days before the primary and another 16% deciding on election day, that makes a total of 53% of the voters unsure up until the last moment. I think it is because no one is happy with any of the choices. Which one is the best of the worst? That is the question.

    January 25, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. confused

    Guys I am a republican from another planet.Who should I vote for? A flip floper, who will do anything for power or a cheater and crazy person.

    January 25, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. DaveSEMass

    Which literary characters match which GOP candidate: Don Quixote, Voldemort, Tartuffe, Duke Frederick

    January 25, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. TomGI

    Some here have said Newt will do nothing for (to) America. Three things he will do, as a bought and paid for agent for Israel, he will waste no time getting the aid money flowing to Israel, cutting off all diplomatic discussions with the Palestinians and getting us at war with Iran.

    January 25, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. hitobito

    I think that every American has a right to vote for his or her candidate who fits their needs, views, situation, and may share their values and faith. I have to say it takes an audacious man to engage in adulterous affairs with at least two women and act pious and indignant when this issue arises. No man or woman is perfect but one would expect a degree of contriteness when there is a history of lecherous behavior. And the woman with whom he committed the adultery for over four years stands next to him like a smiling paragon of virtue. To run for the Presidency of the United States with this salacious history is the epitome of audacity. Hear me Newt?

    January 25, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. TheFatherofLies

    Florida (and much of the south) is a foregone conclusion, with the field thinned to just two establishment behemoths the contest can genuinely get underway. The test remains the northern territories and the coasts, despite values voters putting their lot in with -GINGRICH- he still face some severe headwinds from within his party, his own past issues and his terminal condition of imploding/exploding randomly, even while on a roll.

    January 25, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. Adam

    The potential problem for Newt Gingrich in this situation is the amount of early voting that has taken place in Florida. It just depends on how early these early voters voted.

    January 25, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    Conservative theology wins over ability and reality. Its the new GOP mantra.

    January 25, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. James PDX

    Boy, those evangelicals really want somebody they can practice their forgiveness on. I used to joke that I'd leave the country if Bush won a 2nd term. I don't think it's going to be a joke when I say it about Gingrich winning. I'd much rather have a stupid president than an evil one.

    January 25, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. ContrastandCompare

    BHO is on his way OUT.

    NEWT 2012

    January 25, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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