Poll finds Romney holding steady lead in Florida

{mosads}Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum earns 15 percent support followed by Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) at 11 percent.

Polls released on Monday all showed Romney leading but by varying margins, from 5 percent in an InsiderAdvantage poll to 20 percent in a Suffolk University survey.

“Romney was always seen as a solid favorite in the state,” said Public Policy Polling’s President Dean Debnam. “For all the twists and turns over the last six months it looks like he’ll win a good sized victory tomorrow just as was expected all along.”

The PPP poll shows the former Massachusetts governor winning big among his core group of Florida supporters. He is leading Gingrich among centrists by 39 points, 53 percent to 14 percent. Among seniors, a large group in Florida’s GOP electorate, Romney has 46 percent support to Gingrich’s 32 percent. 

Gingrich has an edge among more conservative voters, but not by similar margins. He bests Romney among Tea Partiers by 8 points with 39 percent support to 31 percent and among evangelicals by 38 percent to 32 percent.

Gingrich’s efforts to hammer Romney over his tax returns and work for private-equity firm Bain Capital appear to have backfired as well. The PPP poll finds that 66 percent of primary voters have a favorable opinion of “rich people,” with only 8 percent saying they have a negative view.

Gingrich also was hurt among voters for his call to place a colony on the moon by the end of his second administration. The survey found 53 percent of voters were opposed to the idea, with 21 percent in favor.

Romney’s solid position at the top of the Florida polls tops a tumultuous two weeks that saw Gingrich leap ahead in the state after a late surge catapulted him to victory in the earlier South Carolina primary. 

Since then, Romney has retaken the lead in Florida thanks to a barrage of ads attacking Gingrich’s record. Romney’s campaign outspent Gingrich heavily in a state with multiple expensive media markets and was aided by multiple high-profile surrogates who questioned the former House Speaker’s leadership.

PPP surveyed 1,087 likely GOP voters on Jan 28 to Jan. 30. The poll has a 3 percent margin of error.


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