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.Encuesta de Miami Herald/Tampa Bay:
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.
If you want a clue as to why Romney releasing his tax returns hasn't hurt him one little bit in Florida consider this: 68% of Republicans in the state have a favorable opinion of rich people to only 8% with a negative one. Romney's up 47-32 among those who like rich people. Here's a simple reality: in a GOP primary it's an asset to be rich and successful, not a liability. Attacks on Romney along those lines just aren't going to be effective with Republican voters. Additionally only 14% of voters have 'major concerns' about Romney's overseas bank accounts, while 56% have none at all.
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 [42%-31%], 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.
“If there’s no 11th hour surprise,” Coker said, “this race is looking right now like it’s over.”
(...) 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.
(...) 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.