Jacksonville, Florida (CNN) - With six days to go until Florida's Republican primary, a new poll indicates Mitt Romney remains on top of the field in the battle for the state's winner take all 50 delegates.
According to an American Research Group poll released Wednesday morning, 41 percent of likely Sunshine State GOP primary voters say they are backing the former Massachusetts governor as their party's nominee, with 34% supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
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Nine percent of people questioned are backing former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, seven percent are supporting Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and six percent are undecided.
The survey was conducted Monday and Tuesday, after Gingrich's double digit victory over Romney in South Carolina's Republican primary, and half before and half after Monday night's GOP presidential debate in Tampa.
Prior to Monday's debate, the poll indicates Romney holding a 38%-34% margin over Gingrich. But looking only at Tuesday's results, after the debate, Romney led Gingrich 44% to 34%.
The ARG poll came out a few hours after a Quinnipiac University survey that was conducted Thursday through Monday that indicated a surge by Gingrich in Florida following his big win in South Carolina.
According to the ARG poll, 17% of primary voters say they have already voted by absentee ballot or early voting. Of this group, the survey indicates Romney leads Gingrich 51% to 39%.
Among the 83% who say they haven't voted yet, Romney holds a 39%-33% margin over Gingrich. As of last Wednesday, the Florida Department of State said that they had received 180,000 absentee ballots. Early voting began statewide on Saturday, and as of Sunday 53,000 people had voted.
Among self described tea party movement supporters, Gingrich leads Romney 47%-34%, with Romney leading Gingrich 47%-22% among those who said they were not tea party supporters. The survey indicates Gingrich and Romney tied among men, with Romney up 14 points over Gingrich among women.
The American Research Group poll was conducted January 23-24, with 600 likely Florida GOP primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.
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This is about to change. Wait for the debate tomorrow, it will be another story the day after.
Loved Mitt "I like to fire people" Romney having the Tuesday morning rally in a SHUT DOWN FACTORY!
It made perfect sense!
Come on Mitt – hang in there – you can do it.
Way to take things out of context Mike. Mitt Romney was talking about being able to choose the companies you do business with and fire the company if they do not provide adequate services. That is the free economy Mike. What dope is going to keep paying for a crappy service? If you hire someone to cut your lawn and it looks like a hack did it, do you keep them coming back? If you go into Walmart and the customer service is junk, are you going back? Doubt it. You fire people every day!
Newt has a big decision to make. He is not is South Carolina anymore. Should he yell at another mainstream media person, should he bring up his affairs and new found religion (he benefitted from that last time), should he lie even more about his past record????? Should he talk about his tax plan which would tax Romney and millions of others like him NO tax at all???Different crowd, different place, different circumstances. Newt slowly painting himself into a corner!!!
FOR HOW LONG ? Mitt just don't know better and he will self-destruct shortly. Is there a debate on Thursday Night???? -– Oh YES!!!!!!
Daily show fan will like the news 57000/day thanks
Ground report says other way
Hopefully this is a sign the people of Florida are starting to realize Gingrich would never defeat Obama.
Go Go Vote for Mitt Romney He can save America !!
Mitt Romney claims that he created 100,000 jobs while he was Bain Capital. But, when asked for some facts to back this up, Romney refuses. Yet Mitt Romney feigns indignation when he is questioned on it by claiming that you are attacking free market capitalism.
Not only will Newt not get a lot of support from conservative Republicans like me but he will not get the support of many independent voters. Aside from the fact that I like Romney and his policies and his history in government and the private sector, he absolutely can beat Obama.
None of these knuckleheads have a shot at beating Obama. Buckle up, Spanky. We're in for four more years.
Newt is a flavor of the month for three times just as many times as he enjoyed his honeymoons!!!
Florida is more like a northern state than a southern state. I doubt Newt is going to get the same traction he did in SC. Also, all the absentee ballots in FL mean a lot of people voted before Newt won SC so any momentum he might have gotten in FL from the SC win is blunted. He'll probably finish 8 points behind Romney but with winner take all, he'll get nothing for it. I guess FL is Newt's version of a Hail Mary pass.
When the GOP finally nominates their candidate, just watch how the majority of voters will rally around CHANGE! Obama's SOTU message was loud and clear: Bigger Government, Uncontrolled Spending, Dividing The People via Social Class and his tired old Blame Game!
Mitt ! Mitt ! Mitt !!! Go Mitt !!. He is just the man. Plain and simple. He is THE ONE we have been waiting for.
Did you guy watch Obama's last SOTU address? If you haven't, you will need to go to archives to watch it!!!
He is THE ONE we have been waiting for.
and righties have the stones to say Obama is "the Messiah"??
Newt Grinch founding member of the "Immoral Minority"
Only Mitt has a chance v Obama! GOP voters need to look at bigger picture here. No indeps will vote Gingrich over Obama.
I wouldn't put much stock in these numbers, they change every other day just like flip flopper Mitt. It's Florida land of the hanging chad and voter fraud.
What will be interesting to see is if Santorum stays in until the Florida primary or if he drops out. My expectation is that his Iowa win will keep him from quiting, so in a twist, Romney wins by losing in Iowa. Santorum will likely wait to drop out until after Florida votes, but not go to Nevada. His supporters might go to Newt since the two of them act like peas in a pod. But his remaining die hards might be with him because they admire his conservative family values, and have no interest in Newt's open-marriage brand of family values. I think once they think about this, they will go to Romney once Santorum calls it quits, even if he endorces Newt.
MItt will win Florida and Newt will be on his way out.
I have trouble keeping up with their rules. Is Florida a winner-take-all state or do they apportion their delegates. If the latter, it's still a tight race. If the former, advantage Mitt.