Huffpost Politics
Mark Blumenthal Headshot

Florida Polls Differ On The Margin, But All Show Mitt Romney Ahead

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
FLORIDA POLLS
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds up his book after autographing it for a supporter in Pompano Beach, Fla., on Jan. 29, 2012. | AP

WASHINGTON -- Another round of new polls on the Florida Republican primary race agree on who is comfortably ahead, but disagree on the size of that margin. Six new polls released late Sunday or Monday found that Mitt Romney's lead over Newt Gingrich ranges from five to 20 percentage points.

Some of the largest margins came from four polls that reached voters over both landline and mobile phones, including three surveys released on Monday:

  • A Quinnipiac University poll conducted from Jan. 27 to 29 shows Romney leading Gingrich by 14 points (43 to 29 percent). Rick Santorum and Ron Paul received 11 percent each.
  • A SurveyUSA/WFLA poll conducted over the same dates puts Romney ahead by 15 points (41 to 26 percent). Santorum and Paul received 12 percent each.
  • An NBC News/Marist College poll released on Sunday but conducted a few days earlier, from Jan. 25 to 27, shows Romney leading Gingrich by 15 points (42 to 27 percent), followed by Santorum at 16 percent and Paul at 11 percent.
  • The largest Romney lead to date comes from a Suffolk University poll released on Monday, which shows the former Massachusetts governor leading the former House speaker by 20 points (47 to 27 percent), followed by Santorum (12 percent) and Paul (9 percent).

Again, all four of these polls called likely Republican primary voters using samples of both landline and mobile telephones. The SurveyUSA poll employed live interviewers for its cellphone sample and an automated methodology for the landline calls. The other three organizations used live interviewers for all calls.



2012-01-30-Blumenthal-recentFLpolls1.png




The closest result, from NewsMax/InsiderAdvantage, shows Romney leading by just five points (36 to 31 percent). Matt Towery, the pollster who runs InsiderAdvantage, served as Gingrich's campaign chairman from 1992 until 1999 and describes himself as a longtime friend of the former speaker. As reported by BuzzFeed, many of the InsiderAdvantage surveys in Iowa similarly "pulled toward Gingrich."

By design, the trend lines on the HuffPost Pollster chart, derived from all available public polls in Florida, smooth out the variation in individual surveys. The latest update shows Romney leading by nearly 14 points (42.4 to 28.5 percent), followed by Santorum (11.7 percent) and Paul (10.6 percent).



2012-01-30-Blumenthal-FLchart0130.png




Voter uncertainty, a hallmark of the Republican primary campaign for months, remains a potential factor in the outcome of the Florida contest. The latest Quinnipiac survey finds that more than a quarter of the likely Republican primary voters in that state either are completely undecided (7 percent) or say they might still change their minds about the candidate they are supporting (24 percent of those with a preference).

Florida election officials reported on Monday that 591,666 votes had already been cast in early and absentee voting, a number that would represent roughly 30 percent of the votes cast in the state's 2008 Republican primary. Needless to say, those who have already cast ballots can no longer change their minds.

Nevertheless, the remaining voter uncertainty combined with the wide discrepancies among some of the polls is a warning that small variations in polling methodology can make a big difference in the results. Thus, while Mitt Romney appears headed for a Florida victory on Tuesday, his ultimate margin may still surprise.

-

Mitt Romney 2012
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Romney lead over Gingrich up in Florida: poll | Reuters

Mitt Romney Holds Big Leads In New Florida Polls

Florida polls show Romney retaining lead – CNN Political Ticker ...

Romney has double-digit lead in Florida polls - KansasCity.com

Romney lead over Gingrich up in Florida: poll - Yahoo! News

Romney Holds Solid Lead in Latest Florida Polls - NYTimes.com

Gingrich Upset Chances Dwindle in New Florida Polls - NYTimes.com

Still down in Florida polls, Gingrich kicks off five-city dash

Romney widens lead over Gingrich in Florida: poll

Herman Cain: Finishing second in Florida would be a “win” for Gingrich

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Polls and Charts
Latest Poll Updates
« 1 of 4 »