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.

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. Joan

    The best campaign money can buy. One wonders if his ruthless, negative attacks are a reflection of his ethics and leadership style. Is that the kind of president everyone wants?

    January 31, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. FilipinoObseRveR

    I do not understand Americans... clearly the political atmosphere since 9/11 have superbly divided all you. Why cant you all unite? Why cant you vote a man who wants to end the war, make peace with the world, save you 1T in 1 yr, protect your liberties, a man who doesn't have money (like most of you), and most of all unite all of you? That seems to me like a perfect candidate... Romney, Gingrich and Santorum will end up like Obama... 4 years wont be enough... it has to be major and drastic. It will be tough at first but i believe with Ron Paul America will make it and flourish. I believe in America.

    January 31, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Romney

    Romney's moderation is a win for liberals. Even Republicans can't swallow the Tea Party message. And thank goodness for that. Once Romeny starts flopping around on the national stage, the conservatives will abandon him... and an Obama win will result.

    January 31, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. JohnT

    Romney's gonna win 2012....start believing folks, its gonna happen. Obama had his chance and he disappointed us. My votes going to Mitt this time around...Ive had enough "HOPE" for a the last 3 years

    January 31, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. scott

    Everyone send me you address, so I can send you all a pacifier when Mr Romney kicks Obama to the curb in the general election. Oh and the CBO latest reports say things are getting worse. You can thank Obama for that also. Have a nice day.

    January 31, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. jorge washinsen

    Stands to reason early voting has Romney ahead.Probably most of the early birds don't have a job even if they were offered one.Should outlaw early voting and news networks commenting on the subject till the voting is over.Too many people now have a chain through their nose, as when a great authority chimes in with the results that have not been counted.

    January 31, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Hudson dude

    I wouldn't vote for anyone aligning themselves with Reagan!.....We don't need big government and big taxes like he left us with! Florida needs to do a better job voting this time around, I don't wish to be burdened by another Bush!

    January 31, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. jorge washinsen

    Leon must be back from the meeting with the great one.Censor on,it is your right, you own the power.

    January 31, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Richard

    Its funny paul. CNN keeps doing these polls with 600 people or 1000 people. When they had the survey up on this same site, asking who would they rather win the nomination, Paul had a 2% lead over Romney. That poll had over 250,000 respondents. CNN, Fox, NBC.....they are all being paid off to give more attention to the millionaire who bankrupt many companies (who also sees profits from several media outlets thru his retirement plan with bain) or the guy who had 84 ethic violations against him during his time.

    January 31, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    @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, ...
    America's first quick fix is to cut the out-of-control government spending and to get back in support of doing business in America so that companies are encouraged to grow the economy here. We saw that the idea of government buying the economy back to life did not work. Never did, here or anywhere else. It's time to go back to proven economics and to put a focus on the nation and the people instead of the liberal Democratic visions of massive government controlling everything. Isn't it obvious after $16 trillion of debt that the American economy cannot afford the bureaucratic mess Washington has become?

    January 31, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Richard

    If paul does not win the nomination, i will begin to campaign all of my followers and friends to vote for obama again. I would rather have another 4 years of obama then a single day under Newt or Romney

    January 31, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Samuel Bogale and Kathy Stumm-Bogale Calgary Alberta

    May the best candidate win .... looks like Romney has it in the bag!

    January 31, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. DoneBroke

    Why does CNN post a story from yesterday (I believe) and run it like it's new. They do that to a lot of stories. Some stories they keep posted for a very long time. I thought I was reading the voting at the polls today.

    January 31, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    There sure are a lot of stupid people in Florida.

    January 31, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. jorge washinsen

    I never write anything that needs censoring.It is the truth that hurts. I have been here almost 3/4 s of a century and I have lived history when news agencies reported the news and did not use it as a tool for the Liberals. I can remember when the first question was "will you give me a job?" not what are the benifits?

    January 31, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. divejoy

    Notice how the voting didnt even close today and the media is posting the likely results. This is an example of Republicans influencng voter results. They dom't care. Look at GW

    January 31, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. MidWestKev

    RE HenryB – "These Republicans are a pathetic bunch altogether. Hate, fear, anger; all trademarks for these people." Wow, take a look in the mirror.

    January 31, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. gomittensgo

    Looks like it is going to be President Willard Mittens Romney.

    January 31, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. jorge washinsen

    ADIOS and teach your children a second language.

    January 31, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    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.
    Poor Wire knows the truth but can't accept it. The TRUTH is independents are abandoning Obama IN DROVES. So as leftists always do, they post the exact opposite of reality in the hopes of deceiving people that aren't paying attention. Nice try Wire, but the American people are on to your pathetic leftist tactics. You can thank Obama for that!

    January 31, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Sandy

    I love how Republicans take advantage of early voting, etc, and no strict voter ID laws, but they don't want the the same for the rest of us in the general election.

    January 31, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. curious

    Florida was for sale. Look what happens to the people of red states. Unemployment, foreclosures and decline. And these fools keep voting republican.

    January 31, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. unsub

    @ truth
    i'll be interested to see whay you are posting come November 2012!

    January 31, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. ObamaJoe

    yeah !!!!!!!!! Mitt Romney & Michael Bachmann !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Best for GOP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 31, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. NVa Native

    Pathetic are the “four dumb as a door” and “all lies no truth”, and that gurgli clown, all arrogantly creating and spreading nasty lies to promote their nasty politics.
    Not all liberals are smart, but liberal ideas are smart. Just like not all Repubs are racist, but all racists are Repubs.

    January 31, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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