In Florida GOP Presidential Primary, Romney Edges Cain, with Perry Well Back in 3rd Place

SurveyUSA Breaking News - 09/29/11 10:47 AM

In the Florida Republican Primary for President, Mitt Romney at 27% edges Herman Cain at 25%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WFLA-TV Tampa. Rick Perry finishes 3rd with 13%, others further back. The Primary is tentatively, and controversially, scheduled for 4 months from today, on 01/31/12.

Romney is strong among older voters, women, moderates and in Southeast Florida. Cain is strong among men, younger voters, Tea Party members, affluent voters and in Northeast Florida. Perry is strong among those who say they are “very conservative,” among those who attend religious services regularly, among Evangelicals and in Northwest Florida.

Newt Gingrich at 6%, and Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5%, effectively tie for 4th place. Jon Huntsman, in 7th place, finishes ahead of Rick Santorum.

Interviews for this survey were conducted 09/24/11 through 09/27/11, in the days immediately after Cain won the Florida Straw Poll on 09/24/11, and in the week following televised debates in Tampa and Orlando. The results may reflect a genuine surge for Cain or may reflect the fact Cain was on the front page of every Florida newspaper on Sunday 09/25/11 and at the top of many Florida newscasts during the field period for the survey. More clear is that Romney emerges from the 2 Florida debates and the Florida Straw Poll with twice the support of Perry. Romney today has a Plus 36 favorability rating in Florida, 4 times greater than Perry, who has a Plus 8 favorability rating.

Florida Republicans to Chris Christie and Sarah Palin: Stay out.

Cell phone respondents included in this research: Republican voters with a history of voting in Republican primaries were interviewed 09/24/11 through 09/27/11, using Registration Based sample (RBS) from Aristotle of Washington DC, supplemented with probable Florida cell phone respondents extracted from an online community. Altogether, 1,384 interviews were conducted, out of which 500 were determined by SurveyUSA to be certain to vote in the Florida Presidential Primary and are included here. This survey was conducted multimode. “Landline” respondents (those with a home telephone) were interviewed using the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Cell phone respondents (33% of likely primary voters) were interviewed one of two ways: by call center employees, who hand-dialed each phone, asked the questions, and remained on the line until the interview was completed; or by SurveyUSA displaying a questionnaire on a cell respondent’s smartphone or other electronic device. In this data set, cell respondents and landline respondents vote differently. Among landline respondents, Romney leads Cain by 12 points. Among cell-phone respondents, Cain leads Romney by 17 points and Perry by 19 points. When the 2 populations are proportionally blended, Romney edges Cain by the 27% to 25% margin reported here.

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