January 30, 2012

Newt Gingrich, before enthusiastic but not huge Tampa crowd, asks supporters for help

Newt Gingrich -– who is traveling around Florida by plane and was preceded on the stage by Michael Reagan and Herman Cain -- addressed a small but enthusiastic crowd at an airplane hangar at Tampa Jet Center. His campaign had curtained off two-thirds of the hangar, but the crowd didn't fill the remaining third.

He took the stage nearly two hours late, but offered no explanation-– ripping quickly into rival Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

Gingrich called Tuesday a "really, really big day" said a late poll has him tied with Romney at 35-35 -– but didn't name the poll. (Here's the poll, according to his campaign, from the Fort Myers News-Press.) He said he's still fighting after reports of his campaign's demise last summer and a well-financed, well-organized Romney assault. He said Romney has "spent $17.5 million on falsehoods.”

He closed with an appeal for help.

"We really need your help: We need you on Facebook, we need you Twittering, if that's what you do, we need you on e-mail," he said. "We need you calling people, and, to show I'm old-fashioned, we need you talking face to face..."

Gingrich said he's carrying the conservative banner.

Continue reading "Newt Gingrich, before enthusiastic but not huge Tampa crowd, asks supporters for help" »

Though down in GOP polls, Gingrich wins tea-party straw poll

Daily Caller:

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich won a straw poll of Florida Tea Party Patriots members held on a conference call Sunday evening, with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum a close second....At the end of the call, participants were asked who they would vote for if the election were held today. Thirty-five percent said they would vote for Gingrich, 31 percent for Santorum, 18 percent for Romney, and 11 percent for Paul. Five percent selected none of the above.

Romney continues attacks on Gingrich in Jacksonville on eve of Florida primary

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, kept up his aggressive rhetorical attack against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Monday, the last full day of campaigning before Florida’s Republican presidential primary.

            Speaking at a morning rally at a Jacksonville forklift supply company, Romney jumped straight into attacking Gingrich.

            “Speaker Gingrich wasn’t very happy with the debates,” Romney said. “He said in the first debate he didn’t do well because the crowd was too quiet. He said he didn’t do well because the crowd was too loud.”

            Romney continued: “I think the real reason he hasn’t done so well in connecting with the people of Florida is the people actually saw him in those debates, listened to his background and experience and they learned, for instance, that he was paid $1.6 million to be a lobbyist for Freddie Mac and they said ‘That’s not what we want in the White House.’”

            Romney told the crowd that Gingrich received money from Freddie Mac at the time the housing foreclosure crisis was in full swing.

            “The idea that someone running for president at the time that was going on…that’s the real reason why Speaker Gingrich has had such a hard time,” Romney said. “If (people) want to see change Washington, you can’t just select the same people to take different chairs.”

            Romney mocked a campaign promise Gingrich made on Florida’s Space Coast that, as president, he would return to manned space flight and establish a permanent U.S. colony on the moon.

            “The idea of the moon as the 51st state is not what would come to my mind as a campaign basis for here in Florida,” Romney said.

            As Romney spoke, Rick Tyler, a former Gingrich aide and top adviser of the pro-Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future stood in the audience inside the massive garage where the event was held and listened. Tyler said he intended to bird-dog Romney’s campaign stops.

 After the first event, Tyler told a scrum of reporters that Romney was “a liar.”

“He said Newt Gingrich resigned in disgrace (from Congress), there’s no evidence of it. Newt Gingrich resigned honorably,” Tyler said. “Romney has said Newt Gingrich was fined $300,000 - $100,000 ethics. That’s not true. (Conservative columnist) Byron York did a good piece the other day that explained the whole story. It’s a long story but I encourage people to look at the truth and not believe the lie.”

            Tyler’s Winning Our Future bankrolled the 28-minute anti-Romney documentary “King of Bain” which media and non-partisan fact-checking groups along with some conservative organizations and Republicans say contained several inaccuracies and overstatements about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.

- McClatchy Washington Bureau Reporter William Douglas

Updated Pre-Election Day total: nearly 603,000 early votes cast by FL GOP (more than SC total)

Before the polls officially open statewide on Election Day, 603,000 Republicans have already cast ballots either by mail or at early-voting precincts, according to Republican Party of Florida spokesman Brian Hughes.

Compare that to the total votes cast Election Day in South Carolina: about 601,000

Here's a data picture he tweeted from hims @GoMeteoric account when the number was a little lower:


And more polls with Romney leads. PPP: Romney +7; InsiderAdvantage: Romney +5

Polls are like the weather these days in Florida. Don't like 'em? Sit around. They'll change. Right now, they have one thing in common: Mitt Romney's winning. It's the margin that's in dispute.

From InsiderAdvantage:

  • Mitt Romney: 36 percent
  • Newt Gingrich: 31 percent
  • Rick Santorum: 12 percent
  • Ron Paul: 12 percent
  • Other: 9 percent

From Public Policy Polling:

  • Mitt Romney 39 percent
  • Newt Gingrich 32 percent
  • Rick Santorum 14 percent
  • Ron Paul 11 percent


Q Poll: Romney by 14 in Florida. That's right: 14

Press release:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a 43 – 29 percent lead over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich among Republican likely voters in Florida, the nation’s first big-state presidential primary, according to  Quinnipiac University poll released today.  Only 7 percent are undecided, but 24 percent say they might change their mind by tomorrow’s election

This compares to a 38 – 29 percent Romney lead in a January 27 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today’s survey, self-described conservatives go to Romney 40 – 31 percent.  He gets 38 percent of white evangelical Christians to Gingrich’s 33 percent and wins 40 percent of Tea Party members to Gingrich’s 35 percent.

Continue reading "Q Poll: Romney by 14 in Florida. That's right: 14" »

January 29, 2012

Newt Gingrich: Election will be closer than the blowout the polls show

Newt Gingrich this morning attended services at Idlewild Baptist Church, the mega church in north Tampa, and then held a press conference to dismiss the polls showing him well behind Mitt Romney in Florida. The next few months, he said, will be campaign pitting the conservative grass roots against the GOP establishment - choice between some who would "genuinely change Washington" and someone who would "manage the decay."

“I think that the election will be substantially closer than the 2 polls that came out this morning. You’ll notice 48 hours ago there was another poll that showed us tied. I think there are a lot of things going on. The most significant thing in both the polls this morning is that when you add the two conservatives together, we clearly beat Romney. I think Romney’s got a very real challenge in trying to get a majority at the convention."

He dismissed the suggestion that a drawn out campaign could damage the GOP in the general election, saying Obama was a stronger candidate after a lengthy primary against Hillary Clinton and Reagan was a stronger candidate after his primary against George H.W. Bush.

"We have no evidence yet that Romney anywhere is coming close to getting a majority and I think when you  take all of the non-Romney votes, it’s very likely that the convention there will be a non-Romney majority and maybe a very substantial one. My job is to convert that into a pro-Gingrich majority," he said.

Gingrich was non-committal when asked if he's comfortable with Florida be a winner-take-all states where he would earn no delegates if he finishes in second place.

“I’m not going to get involved in an RNC procedural fight. They’ve got to decide what they want to do. I’ll play by whatever the rules are that are given to us," he said.

Gingrich is competing with Rick Santorum for many of the same voters, but he said he has had no conversations recently with the former Pennsylvania senator. “This would be a totally inappropriate time to do anything like that," he said, referring to Santorum's hospitalized daughter.
"Rick’s going to get a decent vote on Tuesday. I have no doubt the two  of us are going to collectively outscore Romney and at that point there may be a pretty good conversation."

“The case that is being made all weekend among most evangelical leaders in Florida, is that the only vote that can stop Romney is for Gingrich and we’ll see where we stand the day after the primary here.”

Posted by Adam C. Smith

Looking for Cuban vote, Gingrich ad mentions 'socialized medicine,' losing 'homeland'

Newt Gingrich's latest Spanish-language television advertisement tries to appeal directly to Cuban-American Hispanics, using phrases like "socialized medicine" and featuring speakers who say their families "lost their homeland."

UPDATE: See the video below.

We're working on getting a video (for some reason, it always seems more difficult to find online versions of Spanish-language spots than those in English), but our translation of the spot is below. It features three people praising Gingrich, and clips of his speech at Florida International University last week.

My family came to this country looking for liberty and a dream. But now the United States is resembling the government they fled. Socialized medicine, taxes that paralyze businesses. But Newt Gingrich wants to rebuild the United States that we so love. Newt balanced the budget and created 11 million new jobs. He will be able to do it again. My family knows what it is to lose the homeland they love. It won't happen to us again. Newt knows us. Together, let's retake the country we so love. I'm Newt Gingrich, and I approve this message.


NBC News/Marist poll: Mitt Romney leads Newt Gingrich by 15 percent in Florida

Mitt Romney's Florida lead over chief rival Newt Gingrich is 42 percent to 27 percent, according to this poll by NBC News/Marist. See press release below:

In the contest for the Republican nomination in Florida, Mitt Romney leads Newt Gingrich, 42% to 27%, among likely Republican primary voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, early voters, and those who voted absentee in the state.  Did Romney’s strong performance in Thursday night’s debate boost his support?  How does he fare among those who have already voted in Florida?  And, does he maintain his lead if Rick Santorum suspends his campaign?  Find out in this new NBC News/Marist Poll of Florida. 

Continue reading "NBC News/Marist poll: Mitt Romney leads Newt Gingrich by 15 percent in Florida" »

January 28, 2012

Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times poll: Mitt Romney by 11% over Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich swaggered into Florida as a Republican front-runner, but now he’s close to slipping out as an also-ran against a resurgent Mitt Romney.

Gingrich is badly trailing Romney by 11 percentage points, garnering just 31 percent of likely Republican voters heading into Tuesday’s presidential primary, according to a Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald/Tampa Bay Times poll released late Saturday night.

President Barack Obama should be wary as well. Romney beats Obama by a 48-44 percent spread — a lead inside the error-margin, however — in a theoretical general-election matchup, the poll shows.

In the Republican primary, Romney’s lead looks insurmountable. It cuts across geographic, ethnic and gender lines. And the poll indicates Romney’s attack on Gingrich as a Freddie Mac insider is a hit with GOP voters.

“What does Gingrich need to do? I would say Romney would need to implode,” said Brad Coker, pollster with Mason Dixon Research & Associates, which conducted the survey from Tuesday through Thursday.

“If there’s no 11th hour surprise,” Coker said, “this race is looking right now like it’s over.”

Late Saturday, former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain endorsed Newt Gingrich, but it's unclear how that could help Gingrich make up such a big deficit.

Rick Santorum and Ron Paul — who did not campaign in Florida — are running well behind and have little chance of pulling into serious contention in the nation’s largest swing state, which holds 50 of the 1,144 delegates needed to help secure the GOP’s nomination at this summer’s convention in Tampa.

Late Saturday, former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain endorsed Newt Gingrich, but it's unclear how that could help Gingrich make up such a big deficit.

Romney is running strongest in Southeast Florida, from the Keys to the Treasure Coast. About half of all voters favor him here. Gingrich gets about a quarter of the vote. Similarly, 52 percent of Hispanic voters favor Romney, compared to just 28 percent who support Gingrich.

Full story here

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/28/2613266/poll-romney-holds-big-lead-over.html#storylink=cpy