New poll suggests Gingrich surging in Florida
January 25th, 2012
08:27 AM ET
10 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.

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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. Squigman

    According to who's poll? according to what information? It's impossible for this nut case, to be a viable candidate for the highest office in the nation.

    January 25, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. American

    Romney's flip-flops, lies, and negativity are being realized by the electorate. Many American voters do not trust an inconsistent politician as Romney, who appears too afraid to stand on principle.

    January 25, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. them

    gag, someone give him a towel to put over his head. he has been surging everywhere and it is digusting! I am getting nausious every time I see or hear about him...

    January 25, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Roger

    A lot of voters already voted absentee and they think for Romney since he was in the lead in SC at the time. Newt has a lot of ground to make up in one week to win the delegates. It seems his message is finally getting through!

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

    Gingrich can surge in all the polls down south, but if he is the nominee this independent will vote Obama. Gingrich will do nothing for the American people just like he did nothing as speaker.

    January 25, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. ContrastandCompare

    Mitt has met his match. The wait is over. He is able to be defeated. We can't afford an BHO look alike.

    Time for American Political and Media Elites to wake up. Newt us here to stay.

    "Ask not what your government can do for you, ask What can you do for America to be the very best?"

    American Exceptionalism and Freedom are back.

    Newt 2012

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

    As a rule, always human beings flocks to the winner!

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

    Go Gingrich

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

    Wake up America!! This is the guy that worked for THE COMPANY that caused the Financial Crisis and nearly ruined the world. Anyone who votes for him has learned NOTHING in the past few years.

    January 25, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. T'sah From Virginia

    According to who's poll? according to what information? It's impossible for this nut case, to be a viable candidate for the highest office in the nation.◄

    They are only polling Republican'ts so these numbers are surely on target. Not to worry!! Obama 2012!

    January 25, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He can surge all the way to the moon.
    Neither he nor his boy Mittens will be able to take on Obama one-on-one.

    January 25, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |

    He leads among tea party members! This is what this historic, take back America movement identifies as presidential material. A hypocrite who almost plunged the country into a constitutional crisis chasing an alleged sexual affair with a sitting president while himself doing the same if not worse behaviour! And as a libertarian, i really don't care much about anyone's personal life. But Newt and the rest of the religious right who hijacked the republican party certainly like to stick their noses into other peoples business so it is fair to talk about his extremely hypocritical personal life. The tea party is a sad movement

    January 25, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  13. Pat in IL

    I can't even imagine who these people are who are all for Gingrich. His blatant lies are easily proven, and his demeanor is not that of a president who must deal with other heads of state.

    January 25, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. Whatever

    Let's see if the headlines read the same when it comes to VA!!! !HA! He didn't get on the ballot of his home state... to me that sums it up ....LOL

    January 25, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. Phyllis

    I am an independent. I might vote for Romney, I would never vote for Gingrich. There are probably millions of independents who think like I do. It looks like the GOP is setting itself up to lose in November.

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

    American, I'd rather have a "flip-flopper" who has the ability to work with Democrats to actually get things accomplished than a candidate who refuses to work with the other side. Let's elect Romney so that we can end this gridlock and start worrying more about the country and less about which party you belong to.

    January 25, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  17. tp1776

    I'm from Massachusetts and saw the 'Massachusetts Moderate' first hand, although I voted democratic. He and his campaign professionals made a mistake in believing they had to tack right to win the republican nomination. He's better than that. He should have stood his ground in the republican center. So what if he loses S.C., he would have appealed to republicans and independents. Now he's in a nest of vipers (Gingrich, conservative and religious extremists) and they're chewing him up.

    January 25, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  18. Marie MD

    Is he surging in Florida or is he causing a tsunami because he went swimming. Hard to believe.
    @American-so the bible thumping right wing terrorists trust a man who cheated on two wives (possibly on the third one-as he is a serial cheater)? A man who left one wife who had cancer and another with MS more than a flip flopper who has been married to one woman for over 40 years? A man who left congress in disgrace regarding ethics violation?
    Wow! The teapublikans have really lost their minds!

    January 25, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  19. Hil

    OH.......... but are you remembering......... Pelosi knows something from closed Hearing........... to keep NEWT out of Office.............Don't know how she can disclose it but she says she will................

    January 25, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  20. Kevin

    Of course he is, the retired community voted for a Gov who had the largest Medicare Fraud case in US History.
    So now my neighbors are pulling for a guy with the largest Ethics fine and 1.6 Million of Freddie Mac bail out money.
    They may be senile, but they are consistant. Agree with Debby, I'm an R and will not vote for Newt.

    January 25, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. Pamela from Floriduh (but I'm not Dumb)

    The DUHmb people from FloriDUH did vote Rick Scott the criminal into office as governor.... so what does that tell you? It's comical that the bible-thumping Christians who love playing the "Family Values" card turn a blind eye when it comes to a member of their own party committing adultery time and time again and divorcing two wives who are sick. Gingrich is a guttless environmental flip flopper and someone who got richer destroying the housing market. Even so, half of FloriDUH will vote for the unethical two-timing loser.

    January 25, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. Alex

    Funny "American", Mitt was a Governor not a legislator like Newt who got was voted something like 358 to 28 to be fined for ethics violations and never showed up to take his seat in Congress effectively leaving office (Congress). I would think that Newt represents whats wrong with Washington. He certainly has a way with women leaving / divorcing two sick ones to hook up with one 20 some years his junior. Oh and he does make money too. Lets see Romney is married for 40 some years to same woman gives 14% of his earnings to charity whereas Newt only gives 3%, admit it Newt is moral trash but a great debater and would appear to me only concerned about himself and his interests. A great debater does not necessarily make a great president.

    January 25, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  23. 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 closedd factory seemed very fitting. And didn't Mitt Romney look marvelous with his Cayman Island suntan and his Swiss watch.

    January 25, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. John

    I give up.....

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

    People have a short memory it seems. The fact this guy is even running for President is disturbing, given his past as Speaker of the House. Then we have an out of touch rich guy or the bumbling idiot in the White House now for our other choices. I am so lost.

    January 25, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
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