Final poll: Early voting gives Romney a leg up in Florida
January 31st, 2012
12:37 PM ET
11 years ago

Final poll: Early voting gives Romney a leg up in Florida

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - It's primary day in the Sunshine State, but more than 600,000 people have already voted in Florida's Republican presidential contest. And a new public opinion poll indicates that the ballots already cast may help former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney take the 50 delegates up for grabs in Florida's winner take all primary.

Early voting began statewide ten days ago, and according to figures released Monday afternoon by the Florida Department of State, which runs the division of elections, 293,760 people had already cast ballots. And according to the state, more than 531,000 people requested and were sent absentee ballots, and 338,753 were returned and received by Florida officials.

CNN Live: Tune in to CNN on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET for CNN's live coverage of the Florida primary results and follow real-time results on and on Twitter at #cnnelections. Stay up to date with CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android or other phones.

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Add it all together and more than 632,000 votes were already cast before primary day. To put it in perspective, that's more than the 601,577 who voted in the South Carolina primary, and far outpaces the combined 360,000 that took part in the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses.

And according to an American Research Group survey released Tuesday morning, 36% of people questioned said they already voted, and among those, Romney led former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 51% to 29%, with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 12% and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 10%.

Sixty-four percent said they would vote on primary day, and among them, Romney had a much smaller 39% to 32% advantage over Gingrich, with Santorum at 14% and Paul at 10%.

Overall, 43% of likely Florida Republican primary voters said they were backing Romney, who's making his second bid for the GOP nomination, with Gingrich at 31%, Santorum at 13% and Paul, who's making this third run for the White House, at 9%. The ARG poll is the fifth survey released over the past 48 hour hours to indicate Romney holding a double digit lead over the rest of the field.

According to the poll, Gingrich holds a 38%-35% margin over Romney among supporters of the tea party movement, with Romney holding a large 29 point lead over Gingrich among those who say they are not tea party supporters.

The survey indicates that Romney has a 37%-33% margin over Gingrich among men, with Romney holding a 23 point lead over Gingrich among women.

The American Research Group poll was conducted Sunday and Monday, with 600 likely Florida GOP primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Mmmer

    My main concern is for the country at large. Seriously, how can we be a great nation if we are at each other's throats like this? A single man as 'The President" is not going to 'fix' our issues. We, the people, have to decide if self-focused, self-interest is too high a price for building a stronger nation. Not that we don't look out for's just that we look out for each other as well.

    January 31, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. 60's survivor

    Obama / Biden 2012. Crystal Clear

    January 31, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Woman In California - There sure are a lot of stupid people in Florida
    California is bankrupt and you're calling others stupid??? Might want to get YOUR disaster of a state back in order before throwing stones like this.

    January 31, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Why do they continue to show Romney up on stage at these weird angles? Is no one showing up to the rallies?

    January 31, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. JB

    This whole process of picking a candidate is political theater. The winner and eventual president are chosen behind closed doors by the power brokers.

    January 31, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Blake

    I can't see Mitt winning the general election. Unfortunately for him President Obama has good, if not deadly, counter arguments against Romney uniquely tuned to the candidate's past stances and policies. Arguments that basically make Mitt look like he doesn't know what or where he stands. On Obamacare, Obama has the Romneycare rebutt and defned both "cares" at the same time. On Jobs, Obama has car industry bailouts which Mitt stated confidently would fail while his idea was to let them go bankrupt (losing millions of auto sector jobs and no matter what, whole industries/small business based off the big three permanently). Not to mention Mitt Romney's very poor job creation as Governor. Unemployment is going down and economy is getting better. President Obama has a lock on foreign policy which is unusual for Dems. Basically unless something terrible foreign policy or economically happens to send the US off the path to recovery, President Obama should win the majority of hearts and minds with his charisma and policies.

    January 31, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Jeremy

    @ Richard – you need to understand how poling works. Internet polls carry almost no significance for most issues. This is because not all demographics are represented. For example, Ron Paul supporters tend to be younger, more internet friendly folks who go around spamming every poll and comment board out there. By contrast, older people don't do a lot of this. Additionally, there are the conservatives that would consider CNN liberal bias as bad and wouldn't visit any other news website other than Fox News.

    January 31, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    My dog has a leg up for Romeny as well

    January 31, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. M.A.

    Less points for spurning. Enjoy the ride before black beauty bucks ya right off the pedestal. :p

    January 31, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. larry simpson

    The real truth is according to history only about 20% of the people posting in here will even go vote. The other 80% will persuade you to be ignorant like them.

    January 31, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Lonzo

    My dog has a leg up for Romney as well.

    January 31, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. JohnChen

    Just some hunch: there will be some news after November that says Newt has a nerve breakdown, put into psychiatric hospital and Callista is separated from Newt...

    January 31, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Robert

    CLOWNS! All four of them.

    Mitt – Flipping and a-flopping
    Newt – does not know what else to say: Romney did not feed Jews Kosher foods
    Santorum – Fanatic. trying to get votes by playing the sick daughter card, but mistreatment of gays
    Paul – Lost in Space

    January 31, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    @ truth
    i'll be interested to see whay you are posting come November 2012!
    They don't let you post from the psychiatric ward.

    January 31, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Burlie

    Newt is a two timing moron. I can't fathom him being the president. Unfortunately only canditate who is making any sense about American politics is Ron Paul , who does not have any hope being elected by the war mongering Republican voters.Enough said!

    January 31, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Gurgi

    NVa Native-way to fit the liberal stereotype. And it is not a good stereotype to fit. People like you give intelligent liberals a bad name.

    January 31, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. larry simpson

    Obama will probably join the Taliban before the elections anyway

    January 31, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. Poster Boy

    I'd be happy to vote for Newt if he were running for Commander of Big Ideas or Chief Historian. Anything else is just plain scary. Mitt is far from perfect, but we need someone with his skills and background who can execute on ideas and plans and actually get things done. Say what you want about big business and their morals, but at least they are results and purpose driven. Our country needs results, not ideas. Moon colony??? Puhlease!!

    January 31, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. bk753

    @Four and The Door: Is this the part where you sell me the load of hogwash about tax breaks for the "job creators" (who are creating plenty of jobs... in India). I agree on cutting spending, and the President has been making strides toward ending redundancy and shrinking the government. He's also reshaping the defense department to save money yet keep us strong and effective. Tax cuts, unpaid-for wars, and Medicare D (all from the previous GOP Prez) are more to blame than social programs, however. BTW, do some research and you'll find that the bailout money and the saving of Companies like GM... have paid dividends... both in money recovered and in jobs saved. This President has done an admirable job in the face of a worldwide recession and an obstructionist House bent on having him defeated. (And BTW, YOUR guy? Romney? Has been embarrassing himself with hateful and negative campaigning, while MY President has been dignified and resilient in the face of the most disrespectful attacks on the Presidency that I have ever seen!)

    January 31, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Riptim

    I can just hear mittens in the general election. I didn`t mean what I said then, but I mean what I just said now not what I said before what i said now. Trying to defend Lie after lie will end in disaster. It won`t even be close, his own party is divided and won`t vote for a mormon

    January 31, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Gurgi

    We need a new administration. Following the socialist policies of the current administration will be very damaging for this country. People need to take a look across the atlantic. We have a perfect example of what such policies lead to, there. Another 4 years with no changes and we will be in the same boat as Greece, Italy, and Spain.

    January 31, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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