Poll: Romney opens up lead in Florida
January 27th, 2012
09:05 AM ET
11 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. risky

    @mike from iowa

    They mean 32% OF THE 93%. "Change their minds" meaning they already picked someone, meaning they are already part of the 93% but could "change their minds."

    Cant fix stupid.

    January 27, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Scott

    "It's the economy stupid" Obama is done. The next President of the United States is being decided right now. Mitt has the experience to lead our Nation back to prosperity. I know Libs..........Prosperity is a bad word.

    January 27, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Newt is so not a team player.
    His motto is "If I sink I'm taking as many of you with me as I can".
    He is singing like a jailbird.
    If you confided ANYTHING to him you're beyond screwed.
    Way to go Newt!
    Obama 2012.

    January 27, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. whobeehe

    Let me be the first to apologize to the republicans in Florida for the sorry slate of candidates being offered up to you on Saturday.

    Unfortunately, we have no suitable candidates to run for president this year, but since there will be an election, we have to nominate somebody.

    Since there is little chance than anyone will be able to break the gridlock in Washington, it really doesn't matter who we run, nor who gets elected. The only time people in Washington come together anymore is during a crisis, and that is only by virtue of the end of a sword.

    So forget any promises made to you by anyone, they are just trying to get your vote. That's why i want you to vote for Mitt Romney tomorrow. Yes, he is an opportunist and political shill with the backbone of a jellyfish, but that is really all you need in Washington these days.

    Just pass your vote on Saturday like an oversized gallstone and go back about your business until November.

    January 27, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. cathy

    Sad... I wanted Obama to beat Gingrich in a landslide.

    January 27, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. hypatia

    Did the fat windbag finally run out of air?

    January 27, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. JKI

    If you are still supporting Newt at this stage of the game, then there is nothing you could possibly hear about this man that would sway you. He could be convicted of a double homicide on both x-wives, and you would chalk it up to past mistakes. There is no way you could name me a more corrupt politician in the last century than Newt.

    January 27, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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