Poll: Romney opens up lead in Florida
January 27th, 2012
09:05 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Romney opens up lead in Florida

Jacksonville, Florida (CNN) - With four days to go before the Sunshine State's primary, a new poll indicates Mitt Romney has opened up a nine point lead over Newt Gingrich.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Friday morning, 38% of likely Florida Republican primary voters say they are backing the former Massachusetts governor for their party's presidential nomination, with 29% supporting the former House speaker.

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The poll indicates 14% are backing Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, with 12% supporting former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Six percent say they are undecided, but another 32% say they could change their minds by Tuesday's winner-take-all primary, where 50 delegates (the biggest haul so far) are up for grabs.

The poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday, entirely before Thursday night's explosive CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate here on the campus of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

It suggests that Gingrich's big momentum coming out of his double-digit victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary may be fading. Gingrich had a 40%-34% advantage over Romney in the Sunday and Monday portion of a Quinnipiac Florida survey released earlier in the week.

"Speaker Newt Gingrich's momentum from his South Carolina victory appears to have stalled and Gov. Mitt Romney seems to be pulling away in Florida," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Romney also has a better favorability rating from likely primary voters, which supports his lead in the horse race. Of course, with four days before Election Day, there is time for another reversal. Three in 10 voters say they might change their mind."

The poll indicates men back Romney 36% – 29% percent, a shift from the previous poll, when men backed Gingrich 37% – 33% percent. Romney leads by ten points percent among women, virtually unchanged.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted January 24-26, with 580 likely Republican primary voters in Florida questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN

Also see:

Analysis: When disclosure is so simple it's complicated

Romney campaign will amend disclosure forms

Jeb bush offers no endorsement, but a warning


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Polls
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. GD

    With Romney as the nominee, the state of the economy come November will decide if Obama gets reelected.

    With Gingrich as the nominee, Obama will get reelected. Period.

    January 27, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Tom

    Santorum has offered nothing in these debates other than the usual "If I were president, I would change things" rhetoric without any solid ideas behind it. I hardly see him as the sleeper that wins. He'll drop ouit after Florida is over.

    January 27, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. skalamba

    Romney is a very strong candidate and she proves it last night. he will be the nominee and will beat Obama. Romney has a proven record and experience that will beat him in the election. Economy is No. 1 issue and US Americans are the suffering. No jobs everything falls apart. We will vote for ROMNEY!!!!2012

    January 27, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. mike from iowa

    "... (93 % are for one of the four candidates) ...Six percent say they are undecided, but another 32% say could change their minds..." Okay CNN, that is 131% I know math is not as easy as turning on the TV and watching a Reality Show, but could you at least make an effort?

    January 27, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. Seriously?

    Just like the Tea Party, Newt's hot air has been deflated. But there is no way any one of these buffoons can beat Obama in November.

    January 27, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. skalamba

    Romney proves he is the best candidate that will beat OBAMA!!!GO ROMNEY!!!!!

    January 27, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Mark2

    Mitt Romney 2012! No doubt, President Obama's days are limited in WH. Start counting them... We need a "real" change where admin is not clueless about issues and throwing money at everything like the current one. Money never solves problems. It's helps but concrete actions is what really makes the difference. However, I did like Barack's message in 2008, Yes We Can. Change what we believe in :)

    January 27, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. mike from iowa

    Look at newt.org, his policies for "Faith", he wants to convert America into a Theocracy. He want to inject Church into the school system. When you kids come home from school, when you sk "what did you learn in school today" instead of actually learning something, they'll say "I learned that the God of Abraham wants us to kill followers of other Gods", or some such nonsense. Newt and religion wants to drag us into the stone ages.

    January 27, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. edeb

    If this is the best the republicans have to offer, I'll stick with Obama.

    January 27, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. JR

    Blitzer is not a journalist, he's a bad actor.

    January 27, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. CJG

    Thank the good Lord , my prayers may be answered , I do not trust this crazy hate filled GOP to not put nasyt Newt as their candidate and then vote him into office. If we are to have a repub, please let it be one that is close to sane! But Pres Obama is sane , we need to keep him , he at least understands the middle class. And things are improving , cannot go back to GOP politicis that put us here!
    Obama 2012

    January 27, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Jay

    Poor Newt! Newt Go Home! Newt Go Home! Newt Go Home!

    January 27, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Vega

    The bottom line is the only person who will beat obama is ron paul. But the powers that be dont want him elected cuz he doesnt care about there "special interest". Im telling your right now the only person that will grab enough of the middle ground from the GOP is Ron Paul. If he gets the nomination I will vote for him, any other GOP toolbag im voting obama...... and thats a sad thing coming from a moderate republican. I grew up always behind my father's special interests (republican). But all of these nominees are so out of touch its ridiculous.

    January 27, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. Keean

    I trust Mitt more than Newt, enough said.

    January 27, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. arkieron

    The reason that many Democrats want Romney is because the President is too far to the left. They want a candidate that they hope can bring America together and solve some problems. That isn't Newt Gingrich, who was the father of the extreme partisan politics we have in Congress today. My message to the GOP is simple. As much as I oppose the President's liberal extremes, I will vote for him for re-election if the GOP selects Gingrich as their candidate. Please don't put me in that position.

    January 27, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. David in FL

    To answer the question – do you really trust this man? My answer is unequivocally yes. I lived in Utah and was highly skeptical of this 'outsider' who was coming in to 'save' the Olympics.. and yet that's exactly what he promised and what he did. I watched him compete for a Tough state in Massachusetts and win and do well as Governor.. he earned more of my trust. I watched Pro Life governorship, consistent and strong.. he earned my trust.. I watched him not back down from his Faith.. my trust increased... I watched him stick it to Fib Newton, my trust Solidified. Yes, he has demostrated a pattern of trust for me.

    January 27, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. A family Dad

    Let's see – Gingrich cheats on and leaves wife #1, and cheats on and leaves wife #2, gets fined $300,000 by the house ethics committee, and people want to believe what he says he will do as president? I don't think we have seen that kind of behavior in any of the other candidates.

    January 27, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. DEMSSUCKIT

    CNN, stop trying to sway the polls to your favor. Mitt did a horrible job last night. Newt still has the majority. So quit stacking the deck, CNN.

    January 27, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. RonPaul4President

    I think Ron Paul should announce an independent candidacy for President. The media doesn't acknowlege him or labes him as a "wacko". The Republican Party doesn't give him the respect he deserves. Time to run as a third party for President. He'll do alot better that way.

    January 27, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  20. Cybersport

    Santorum may be a good human being, but his ambition is to push his religious view down everyone else's throat. Voters here in Pa know that which is why he isn't in the Senate anymore.

    I wouldn't mind having him as my next neighbor but I wouldn't vote for him for dogcatcher.

    January 27, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Spock500

    Kathy, if you are so sick, sick, sick of this process and the things that Obama hasn't done, I bet you were pretty laid up in bed during GWB's two terms ?

    January 27, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. CoJo

    Under Santorum everyone gets free health care!!!! No??? well he said it was wrong to charge people for health services if you do not have health insurance... Obviously FREE HEALTH CARE FOR EVERYONE…cannot believe Wolf missed such an obvious challenge to Santorum…never mind Santorum does not have a response regarding pre-existing conditions…Oh wait he, does… his response..too bad, but with free health care, NO PROBLEM.. Doesn’t that make Santorum a socialist? Bet most of Florida missed this too

    January 27, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. txjack

    My own personal opinion it really does not matter who get nominated.
    The Obama Presidency has been bought and paid for by George Saros and the oil companies.
    He bankrolled him the 1st time, as did all the CEO’s and Exes of all major Oil companies.
    When you look at the list of contributors to his 1st campaign they contributed the max multiple times.
    This added to millions. The most in any presidential campaign ever.
    George Saros through multiple front companies owns 60% of the US press,
    Why do you think that there are so many Obama ads on CNN every time you click on CNN. (owned by Saros).
    I really would like anyone else to win except Obama

    January 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. CoJo

    Under Santorum everyone gets free health care!!!! No??? well he said it was wrong to charge people for health services if you do not have health insurance... Obviously FREE HEALTH CARE FOR EVERYONE…cannot believe Wolf missed such an obvious challenge to Santorum…never mind Santorum does not have a response regarding pre-existing conditions…Oh wait he, does… his response..too bad, but with free health care, NO PROBLEM.. Doesn’t that make Santorum a socialist?

    January 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. RonPaul4President

    Hey the CNN political ticker has no mention of Ron Paul....shocking. In a CNN poll which I can't find now 83% said Ron Paul won the debate yesterday....

    January 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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