January 30, 2012

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

PPP: Romney up by 8% over Gingrich in Florida

From Public Policy Polling:

PPP finds the same thing in its newest Florida poll that all surveys of the state have found in the last few days: strong movement away from Newt Gingrich and toward Mitt Romney.  Romney now leads with 40% to 32% for Gingrich, 15% for Rick Santorum, and 9% for Ron Paul. Romney has gained 7 points and Gingrich has dropped by 6 since our last poll, which was conducted Sunday and Monday.

It's clear that the negative attacks on Gingrich have been the major difference maker over the last week. His net favorability has declined 13 points from +23 (57/34) to only +10 (50/40) in just five days. Romney has pretty much stayed in place. At the beginning of the week he was at +31 (61/30) and now he's at +33 (64/31).

Santorum is actually the most well liked candidate among Florida voters with 65% seeing him favorably to 24% with a negative opinion.  In Iowa Santorum's persistently high favorability ratings were a precursor to his late surge.  But as popular as he is, he's only gone from 13% to 15% support in the last week.  It seems unlikely that he'll be able to break into the top two.

The backbone of Romney's support in Florida is senior citizens.  He's getting 50% of their voters with Gingrich at only 28%. Romney also appears to have a pretty good sized lead in the bank. Among those who have already voted he's at 45% to 35% for Gingrich.

More here

Herman Cain endorses Newt Gingrich

Update: Herman Cain endorsed Gingrich.

The conservative Shark Tank blog says Herman Cain could endorse Newt Gingrich tonight in Palm Beach County during a Lincoln Day dinner there. There has been buzz for a month Cain might do it, Gingrich's campaign said to expect a big endorsement tonight and earlier this evening GOP operative Roger Stone suggested Can might be the man.

Whether this makes a difference at all is a good question. Perhaps we should ask Craig Miller. Who's that? He's the guy in single-digits in the Florida Senate race primary polls who was endorsed by Cain recently.

But who knows, to the degree there's an untapped reservoir of tea-party-like supporters who will be swayed by Cain, this could account for a few votes for Gingrich. But will it be enough to overcome Mitt Romney's ever-widening lead in the polls? Probably not.

Here's what a top-notch Republican consultant just sent us as a joke that's nevertheless probably accurate:


Helped by $10m from casino magnate, Gingrich says gambling is a "worry."

Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign has gotten a $10 million boost thanks to cash from Las Vegas Sands gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, but Gingrich says he isn't necessarily buying into gaming. But it's not really clear what his position on gaming is.

"Well, let me say up front, at the risk of offending some of my friends who've been very helpful," Gingrich said, "I worry about the degree to which the poor are the most likely to end up spending a large percentage of their income gambling in the false hope that they can mathematically beat the system."

Gingrich, however, never said whether he supported or opposed casino gaming.

Gingrich was asked about the issue by evangelical activist John Stemberger, a Rick Santorum supporter, at the Orange County Liberty Counsel Forum in Winter Park. The issue is huge in Florida right now as the Legislature considers whether to expand casino-style gaming in Florida. The issue is being pushed by Genting and Adelson's company. Note: Adelson and his wife (not Las Vegas Sands) have contributed the $10 million that has helped Gingrich via the political committee Winning Our Future.

Gingrich, like Romney explaining his relationship with the PAC Restore Our Future, said he only knows about the Adelson money because of press accounts.

“I have read articles," Gingrich said. "I haven’t known anything technically because I’ve not been briefed because it’s illegal. But I’ve read articles and Sheldon Adelson has clearly, according to the articles, been very generous.”

Gingrich said he met Adelson nearly 20 years ago on Capitol Hill, where Adelson is a major player due in large part to his support of pro-Israel policies.

"Sheldon Adelson's passion in life is the survival of Israel. And he and I are in agreement that Iran is a deep and immediate threat, posing the risk of a second Holocaust with three or four nuclear weapons," Gingrich said.

"So Sheldon has said – to offset, by the way, Goldman Sachs, the big banks and everybody who’s been helping my opponent  – he stepped in and said, 'look I really want somebody to be there who understands foreign policy, who understands national security,'" Gingrich said. "I’m happy to tell you my relationship with Sheldon is about a very specific public thing: I believe we should be strong enough to stop the Iranians and that Israel should e allowed to exist and I’m prepared to defend it."

--with Alex Leary