Polls show Romney favored in Florida

Jan. 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The day before the Republican presidential primary in Florida, Mitt Romney has opened up his lead over his rivals, several polls indicated Monday.

The former Massachusetts governor had a 43 percent-to-29 percent lead over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia among Republican likely voters in Florida, results of a Quinnipiac University poll release indicated. The poll said 7 percent of respondents said they were undecided, but 24 percent say they could change their mind by the primary.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania each had 11 percent in the Quinnipiac poll.

"Gov. Mitt Romney is headed towards a double-digit victory that touches all the GOP bases," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Romney carries every part of the GOP coalition, including the parts central to Gingrich -- self-described conservatives, white evangelical Christians and Tea Party supporters."

Romney had a double-digit lead in a Suffolk University poll released Monday, ahead of Gingrich 47 percent to 27 percent. Santorum got 12 percent and Paul finished fourth with 9 percent. Five percent said they were undecided.

A Public Policy Polling survey had Romney leading Gingrich 39 percent to 32 percent, with Santorum at 14 percent and Paul at 11 percent.

Public Policy Polling officials said their results indicated Gingrich was holding onto his conservative base, while Romney was winning moderates.

"It looks like the main suspense in the state is whether he'll win by single digits or double digits," said Dean Debnam, PPP president. "Right now he's pretty close to that line."

An Insider Advantage Poll conducted for Newsmax indicates Romney holds a single-digit lead over Gingrich, 36 percent to 31 percent. Santorum and Paul both had 12 percent.

SurveyUSA's poll indicated Romney had a 15 percentage point edge over Gingrich, 41 percent to 26 percent, and was ahead in every region within the state. Paul and Santorum each had 12 percent.

We Ask America indicated Romney led Gingrich 44 percent to 25 percent, in its poll Sunday. Santorum and Paul both had 10 percent, and 11 percent said they were undecided.

Polls were conducted during a Friday-to-Sunday time frame and had margins of error ranging from 2.84 percent to 4.2 percent.

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