Eve of Florida GOP Primary: Romney Will Capture All 50 Sunshine State Delegates, But Is That Enough to Avoid Tampa Floor Fight?

SurveyUSA Breaking News - 01/29/12 11:15 PM

Mitt Romney is poised for a decisive win in Tuesday’s 01/31/12 Florida Presidential Primary, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WFLA-TV in Tampa. The victory will give Romney 50 additional delegates, and bring his total to 69, on the march to the 1,144 delegates needed to be nominated by the Republican Party. Because Florida is one of the few “winner take all” states in 2012, the size of Romney’s victory is not as important as in a proportionally allocated state, but SurveyUSA’s final numbers show Romney 15 points atop Gingrich, 41% to 26%.Romney is ahead in every region of the state. Gingrich draws to within single digits among Evangelicals, pro-life voters, Tea Party voters, and younger voters, but Romney overwhelms with a 25-point advantage among the affluent, a 20-point advantage among the college educated, a 20-point advantage among women, and a 19-point advantage among voters age 50+. There is effectively no difference between those who have already voted and those who have not yet voted, so a late Gingrich surge is not anticipated.

Rick Santorum and Ron Paul finish tied, for 3rd place, at 12%, with half as many votes as Gingrich.

Over the course of 3 SurveyUSA tracking polls going back to 12/07/11, Romney succeeded in helping to erode Gingrich’s favorability numbers from Plus 54 to Plus 11. See the interactive tracking graph for a window into which demographic groups were most receptive to the attacks on Gingrich. Interactive Tracking Graphs are a SurveyUSA exclusive. Over the same 3 tracking polls, Romney’s favorability remained effectively unchanged, at Plus 30.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research. Using voter list sample from Aristotle, SurveyUSA interviewed 500 registered Florida Republicans who have voted in past primary elections and who identified themselves as being certain to vote in this primary. Interviews conducted 01/27/12 through 01/29/12. Interviews conducted 100% by telephone. Respondents who use a landline (home) telephone (70% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents who do not use a home telephone (30% of likely voters) were contacted by live operators, who hand-dialed the telephone, secured the cooperation of the respondent, asked the questions, recorded the answers, and remained on the phone until the completion of the interview. In these results, Ron Paul’s support among cell phone respondents is 5 times greater than among landline respondents. Florida should have 99 “winner take all” delegates at stake, but because Florida jumped the line and moved its primary earlier than had been recommended by the Republican National Committee, the state is penalized and will award 50 instead of 99 delegates. The Republican National Convention begins 08/27/12 in Tampa. Gingrich hopes that a majority of the delegates seated at the national convention will be non-Romney delegates and that Gingrich will survive Florida to fight another day.

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