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. Richard Puente

    Newt is not at all someone that has what the conservatives stand for. Seriously The first MARRIAGE and abandonment of his ill wife alone. The truth is that $$$$ is the true GOD for this self centered selfish group of gun carring and haten poor excuse for AMERICANS....

    January 25, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. RickD

    Obama in 2012!!

    January 25, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Kay

    All Obama would have to do to defeat Gingrich would be to remind people of the garbage Newt pulled in the 80s. They won't nominate him unless they want Obama to win in a landslide.

    January 25, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. Robert

    I voted for Obama last election. Would hate to vote for him again. If Romney doesn't win the nomination; I will vote Obama over Newt hands down. My reason? Newt took on President Clinton for cheating on his wife during the 90's, at the very same time he himself was cheating on another his other wife. How can he say Clinton wasn't a worthy leader and then himself?

    January 25, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. mark

    Hey Republic-cons face it this time bomb might be your nominee to run against a well tuned Obama machine in November. Either way you are going to have a piece of garbage weather it's Willard or Mittins. Heck I wouldn't be surprised if the republic-con base starts to panic and try to get someone else to hop in. These two jokers have NO!!!!!!!!! CHANCE!!!!!!!!!. YES WE CAN MR. OBAMA/AL GREEN

    January 25, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  6. ru serious

    Holy cow, Newt can't possibly win over Independants, who will decide this election. We're going to be stuck with another 4 years of Obama. Cannot believe GOP is shooting itself in the foot, this should have been a no brainer. Sickening that people would actualy vote for that creepy mean little influence peddler....and lets not even think about the potential of his creepy mistress wife being 1st Lady. Gag me, might need to sit this election out...

    January 25, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  7. Newt2012

    Clearly, people are misinformed about Newts affiliation with Freddie Mac. People have selective hearing and thinking, and frankly, it appears the disdain for Newt's personal life or what have you, are blinding you from the facts, and how good of a candidate he actually is. Newt's involvement with Freddic Mac strated WAY back in 2000. His tenure ended in 06, still 2 years before the meltdown. He did not receive tax payer bailout funds, thats obsurd. He has made clear his stance on opposing irresponsible lending practices. People keep shouting out 1.6 million, 1.6 million, but he DID NOT receive that money personally, it went to the Gingrich Group, in which Newt himeself received a modest payout of $35,000 a year. Romney would like to have you think it was otherwise, but lets get the facts straight. As the news media has said, Romney is a brittle candidate, he as a WEAK debater and his holes are starting to show. His attackes on Gingrich Monday night felt like a conglomerate without focus. The polls are also showing that people do not care about Newt's personal life, but recognize he is most equipped to face Obama. How can you dismiss his accomplishments? Balancing the budgest, leading to a surplus, one of the only times in recent history. Working to create over 25 million jobs throughout is tenure is washington. In a time where the debt is out of control and is only getting worse, since when do we not care about fiscal conservatism and responsibilty? Go Newt!

    January 25, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  8. ART

    What can I say, I guess there is no accounting for taste or substance

    January 25, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Robert

    Bill Clinton cheated on one wife. Newt cheated on 2 wives. Clinton was a good president. Newt was a failed Speaker Of The House who had to resign. Newt said Clinton was not capable of leading our country because of his character flaws. But today, Newt Gingrich wants to become our president. Is it because the southerners now approve of adultery in the first degree??

    January 25, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. Myth Romney is soo Plastic and FAKE he makes Callista Gingrinch looks REAL

    Pls vote for NEWT! He is a strong conservative leader with no moral values, but I'll take him anyday over the millionaire flip flopper who is paying less taxes than the average joe on the street; and parked a lager percentage of his wealth in the Caymen Island, Swiss bank accounts, Ireland and every other country on earth except the United States!!!!

    Myth doesn't believe in America....if NOT he will put his money where his heart is, here in the United States!!!!

    January 25, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
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