While Mitt Romney’s organizational and cash advantage in the massive, expensive-to-campaign-in state of Florida should not be underestimated, momentum matters too – and a pair of fresh polls shows that Newt Gingrich’s South Carolina surge seems to be continuing in the Sunshine State.
Public Policy Polling’s new survey, out Monday, had the former House speaker leading Romney 38 percent to 33 percent. Newt was keeping together the Tea Party-evangelical coalition he got in South Carolina, according to poll’s crosstabs. PPP surveyed (by touch-tone telephone polling) 921 likely Republican primary voters in Florida on Jan. 22 and 23, immediately after Saturday’s South Carolina primary and before the Monday NBC News/National Journal debate; the error margin on the results is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
And the latest survey from Rasmussen Reports out Monday found that Romney’s 22-point Florida lead of two weeks ago had melted away. It found Gingrich with support of 41 percent of likely GOP voters, and Romney at 32 percent. Rick Santorum was running third with 11 percent, while Texas Rep. Ron Paul was at eight percent.
The poll of 751 likely voters was done on Jan. 22, when Gingrich’s victory the day before in SC was receiving saturation coverage. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage.