Final poll: Early voting gives Romney a leg up in Florida
January 31st, 2012
12:37 PM ET
8 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. HenryB

    These Republicans are a pathetic bunch altogether. Hate, fear, anger; all trademarks for these people.

    January 31, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    This whole season of the "GOP primary is like some twisted "extreme make-over" cable TV show. But really it's more like a one of those low budget TV shows from the 80's with cheesy special effects – "creep show".

    January 31, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. JoeS

    Good Luck Mr. Romney.

    January 31, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    It's been, what, six months now? Mittens needs to change his jeans. Seriously.

    January 31, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Looks like Floridians are eager to vote Republican. Pools show Obama in trouble down there with his high unemployment economic strategy.

    January 31, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    These Republicans are a pathetic bunch altogether. Hate, fear, anger; all trademarks for these people.
    Based on your post it is clear who has the problem with hate, fear and anger and I doubt you are a Republican.
    But that's not important. More important is that Florida is doing their part to send Mitt Romney to Washington with their confidence along with most of the rest of us that he can fix the broken federal government. Face it, with debt shooting past $16 trillion and the economy doing nothing to help, we can do better. We do not have options anymore. The path we are on is hopeless. But by using an understanding of economics and through responsible management this can be changed. Romney is absolutely the guy to make this happen.

    January 31, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Pamela from Floriduh (but I'm not Dumb)

    Romney will win the primary... I hope. He won't win the election though.

    January 31, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. nasa1

    Romney ahead? Just goes to show that not much has changed since Florida was admitted to the Union as a "slave State".

    January 31, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Early results show Romney winning the Cayman vote, the Swiss vote, the corporate vote, and reality challenged vote. Looks like his $16 million in negative attack ads on Newt is paying off.

    January 31, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Pamela from Floriduh (but I'm not Dumb)

    Newt always looks so angry and sour. Perhaps Botox would help.

    January 31, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Truth – thanks for keeping the hate alive. Your posts have done more to sway independents to Obama than even Terry Va, the self made millionaire.

    January 31, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    At first I did not recognize Mittens because of the ink lined designer jeans.

    January 31, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. FilipinoObseRveR

    Ron Paul is the only one that makes sense to us. Extreme but it makes sense. The American economy is collapsing so Americans should focus on getting back up from with in and stop policing the world. It will take more than 4 years to fix what the Bush admin created... clearly it has to be a drastic conservative change that has to start from with in America. Pls America rebuild from with in and become the beacon of hope for the rest of us... We still believe in you...

    January 31, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Gurgi

    @wire, so how is there any "hate" in Truth's post? Stop fitting the typical liberal stereotype. Those fitting the liberal stereotype give intelligent liberals a bad name.

    January 31, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    supposed to be mink lined, sorry.

    January 31, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Vinney47SLC

    Mitt is it for 2012. He's not perfect, but he's pretty much the perfect candidate for right here, right now.

    January 31, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. clarke

    Just let the votes be counted and confirmed before declaring a winner.

    January 31, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Independent Voter

    Romney will crush Obama........Obama has been in charge of government for almost four years, and look how disfunctional it is!!! As much as you would like to step away from reality, you can't blame Bush, or anyone else for this mess. This disfunctional government and economy is squarely on Obama's shoulders. Go Romney!

    January 31, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Jeff hanging chads this time around!

    January 31, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Phil in KC

    Makes election day kinda anti-climactic doesn't it? I don't like early voting; it takes all the fun out of it.

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

    Romney is absolutely the guy to make this happen.
    He isn't and you know it in your heart. The fact is that he is absolutely the LAST guy left that you can pin your dwindling hopes on. We're talking about Mitt Romney here, the guy that NEVER had a platform, a stance, a plan. The guy that everybody in YOUR Party turned their backs on as if something odiferous had just come into the room. THAT Mitt Romney is now your great White Hope.
    Good luck with that.
    Obama 2012.

    January 31, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. bk753

    @Four and The Door: Yes, a tax-cutting, flip-flopper who represents the obstructionist party responsible for about 75% of the financial mess we are in... now there's the ticket to redemption! You, and those like you, are delusional if you think there is a "quick fix" to the worldwide malaise we are in, and that Mitt Romney is a start in the right direction. Electing Romney will exascerbate the divide in America between the "haves" and "have-nots," and the resulting class warfare will spark a civil war of outrage that will further damage this great country. Most key financial indicators show significant progress RIGHT NOW under President Obama. Replacing him at this time with someone SO out of touch with the majority of Americans... would be catastrophic. OBAMA 2012!!

    January 31, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Andrew

    Romney and Gingrich will not be able to defeat Obama. Paul is the only candidate with real differences from Obama's platform. Maybe that's why Paul should run third-party

    January 31, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. kat

    why is the media hyping florida so much? just because they think Romney will win Florida they assume its over. it is not over till the fat lady sings! Romney will not be president nor will Obama Bin Laden.

    January 31, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. R

    @ Wire Palladin, S. F.
    "Truth – thanks for keeping the hate alive. Your posts have done more to sway independents to Obama than even Terry Va, the self made millionaire."

    I would love to see your facts Wire Palladin that supports your statement. I seriously doubt one person's posts have swayed voters any more than your posts have.

    January 31, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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