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Q poll: Romney even with Obama in FL, while Gingrich trails by 11

Quinnipiac University: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney runs even with President Barack Obama 45 – 45 percent in Florida, while the president holds a strong 50 – 39 percent lead over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.  Today’s results compare to a 46 – 43 percent Romney lead over Obama January 11 and a 47 – 40 percent Romney lead September 22.
The big difference between Romney and Gingrich in the November matchup is among independent voters, who support Romney against President Obama more than they back Gingrich against Obama, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum trails Obama 49 – 40 percent while Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul trails the president 47 – 39 percent.
Romney also scores substantially better when non-Republicans are asked whether they see a candidate favorably or not.
“At least in Florida and at least at this point in the campaign, the data indicates that Gov. Mitt Romney is clearly the stronger Republican candidate against President Barack Obama,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “As our mothers told us growing up, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression,’ and Speaker Newt Gingrich’s initial impression on the overall Florida electorate is not a positive one.  It is certainly possible that Gingrich can change the overall unfavorable view that Florida voters have of him, but for him to carry Florida in November he would have to prove mother wrong