Newtmentum: Q poll says Gingrich has erased Romney’s Florida leadby George Bennett | January 25th, 2012
The 12-point lead that Mitt Romney enjoyed two weeks ago in Florida has disintegrated, says a new Quinnipiac University poll that finds the Republican primary a virtual tie between Romney and surging South Carolina winner Newt Gingrich.
The poll — conducted Thursday through Monday — shows Romney getting 36 percent support from likely GOP primary voters and Gingrich getting 34 percent. The poll has a 4 percent margin of error. Rick Santorum gets 13 percent and Ron Paul 10 percent. Among voters surveyed after Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Gingrich leads Romney 40 percent to 34 percent.
Gingrich’s Florida surge comes even as Republicans believe, by a 49-to-35 percent margin, that Romney would be better able to defeat President Obama in the general election.
The poll also finds that 38 percent of likely primary voters say there’s still a chance they’ll change their minds. Two weeks ago, that figure was 54 percent.
Gingrich leads among men (37-33), evangelicals (43-30) and tea party supporters (43-28). Romney leads among women (38-31) and is viewed as better able to handle the economy than Gingrich by a 47-to-30 percent margin.
Asked which candidate shares their values, Santorum comes out on top at 30 percent, followed by Romney at 29 percent and Gingrich at 20 percent.