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. Libs like MItt

    It's interesting, every time the polls change, to see the liberal response. When Newt's ahead, "wow, not him, Romney please." And when Romney's ahead "not the Mormon, Gingrich is a better choice." Liberals be flippin and floppin on this one.

    January 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Jules

    Not a shock that Romney is pulling ahead. His debate performance last night was very good and Newt looked like a rumpled old guy standing next to him.

    January 27, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. rapierpoint

    I find it humorous to watch the news agencies report poll results on, what seems to be, a minute by minute basis. It also appears that they tend to report whatever poll results they happen to want to report (wonder what their criteria is). This article doesn't seem to even mention any of the other polls that are showing just the opposite. It's almost like having a Congressman basing their votes only only reports given to them by a particular lobbyist.

    January 27, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. Mark

    So this is going to come down to a REALLY well paid "historian" versus the ultra-rich, both trying to pretend they understand the retirees and latin block – this is worse than a bad parody. I have no preference for either and it's really hard to call this one, but I'm guessing Mittens pulls out a razor sharp win

    January 27, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. ST

    I do salute people of S. Carolina. They did not kill the process of nominating the right candidate. I do hope Floridians will be wise enough and let the process continue in a meaningful way.

    January 27, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. tffl

    I assume this just means that, while each probably has some amount of solid support, a good deal of the electorate is not really attached to either and remains very fluid in their choice, going back and forth based on debates, ads, and breaking news. While there won't be any more debates before the election, there are 4 days for ads (which have been heavy and nasty) and new surprises, so I wouldn't be shocked by continuing major swings right up until Tuesday night...

    January 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. Robert

    Why is it necessary to report on this every day, its the same people who vote on these ridiculous polls. Just wait for the election and report on something that people care about.

    January 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. David in FL

    @SEAL Team Alpha and Omega... You may have missed it while pandering to bigotry, but Romney Dislosed the money in those accounts and paid taxes on them. Hollywood has taught you to associate Swiss Bank and Caymans as tax shelters. If you pay taxes on the income there and its perfectly legal and disclosed how is that sheltering? Enlighten me. I think the real truth is that you can't stand that he's Mormon. Get over it. He's a good man and a clear delineation from everyone else up there.

    January 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    To: Romney supporters, Do you really trust this man???
    Yes. Completely. More than the sleazy politician currently driving our country into the dirt with his string of poor decisions basing every one of them on his own political ambitions.

    January 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. sammy zoso

    Obama in 2012. Get used to it. The GOP Nazis have no plan other than to get elected and take the U.S. BACKWARDS about 20 years or so.

    January 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. onelinerix

    wonder how many of them will vote for dubya if u put him on a ballot or jimi hendrix for that matter. voting is complicated for a lot of floridans

    January 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Phil in KC wrote:

    Of course, this is one of the problems with a winner-take-all primary. The will of the people is not accurately reflected. Delegates should be split according to the number of votes they receive.
    According to the Republican Party's own agreements and rules established at the 2008 convention, there are two things wrong with the upcoming Florida primary. First, to discourage states from moving themselves up the calender in front of the traditional "first four" states, the party agreed that any state moving its' primary prior to Feb. 1, would forfeit half of its' delegates at the 2012 convention. Second, to avoid another 3 week primary season like they had in 2008 because every state had been winner take all, they had agreed that all primaries conducted prior to March 1 would assign delegates proportionally, *not* by winner take all.

    January 27, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. Paul Williamson

    Is this the best the Republicans can do, Robmey (sic) or the Grinch?

    January 27, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. Kalowg

    Anyone see a difference between Mitt Romney and John Kerry? I don't, and the election will yield the same result for the same reasons.

    January 27, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Tony

    Good news for Romney, but if Santorum drops out Romney is in trouble again.

    January 27, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. Jackola

    The more I see of these guys' clown act (especially the top two – Grinch and Morney), the more evident it is that Obama will be a 2 term president.

    January 27, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Bill

    Romney was, as usual, more "presidential" in his demeanor and perhaps there isn't quite as many bible-belt teavangelicals out there in FL as was first thought. His Mormonism is still going to be a problem when the whole nation gets out to vote in November if he's the GOP's pick. That's going to be the unspoken but key issue regarding electability against Obama; naturally, nobody wants to come right out and say it due to political correctness, etc. These teavangelical types still think he's a member of a sect/cult with secret agendas.

    January 27, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Bubba Gump

    Republicans have a serious problem which cannot be fixed by any of these candidates on stage in last night debates. The country of Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul have imploded the country 8 of the last 11 years. Yes, you can blame Obama for some of the things but overall when you "Zealots" were praising George Bush Jr. in how he ran the country by giving him easy access he ran it into the ground. Now burried, the country is trying to get back on its feet and since you guys are not happy with Obama working "Miracles" he is now the problem? Obama will win simply because people want direction and to move forward instead of going backwards like all of the candidates on stage represent.

    January 27, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. modmike

    With each candidate winning every week, why not Ron Paul?

    January 27, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Miki801

    This seems like a show primary. Let's just talk, talk, talk about the Issues that the federal government will never change. Abortions were going on fpr all of my 78 years, (legal or not).. Romney's taxes were all paid under current laws. We ae not going to stop adultery, Newt's or otherwise. You canl not legislate morality. If we look at the seven deadly sins, Christy, Jeb, and Newt are on the gluttony list. Could we please get to those issues that the federal government should/could change? Imports, tarrifs, return our troops to U,S, bases could be a start Education investment directed to needed skills-not what do you want to be when you grow up, could be a step. We only need so many dancers. The practical needs to be the debate.

    January 27, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Ancient Texan

    The DNC, the Media, and the GOP Elite all want Romney. With that combination and all of Romney's millions to run nasty ads, it looks like McCain Part II will be the nominee. McCain is a good guy and a hero, but was a poor campaigner.

    January 27, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Saboth

    Romney or Gingrich....Gingrich or Romney. Tough choice. It's like choosing between a nuclear apocalypse or collision with an planet-sized asteroid. Fortunately we have a 3rd choice in the wings....safe ol' Obama.

    January 27, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    @JR “Blitzer is not a journalist, he's a bad actor.”

    There are handful of good journalist, Wolf is one of them No bias, No favoritism
    Some time truth hurt people like you can't help

    January 27, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Republican for Freedom

    Hello, Hello, Is the main stream media at home ? Can any so-called media outlet report on what the issues for our country are going forward for the 2012 elections ? I want to know what the media has to report of value. I don't care if Romney has another baby or Gingrich had a girlfriend, all petty crap.
    Do some real reporting on issues that are newsworthy, not High School pettiness.

    January 27, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Wtp

    He's better than any Bush.....he's the only one that has a chance against Obama...but he won't beat Obama....98% of the people are middle class or lower..no way their going to vote republican

    January 27, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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