HolyCoast: Florida Primary Today

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Florida Primary Today

Romney looks like he's headed to a winner-take-all victory in Florida today:
PPP's second day of tracking in Florida finds little change in the state of the race. Mitt Romney leads with 39% to 32% for Newt Gingrich with Rick Santorum at 14% and Ron Paul at 11%. Romney and Santorum are both down a single point from Saturday's polling while Paul has gained 2 points and Gingrich has stayed in place.

The reason we don't find Gingrich getting blown out by a double digit margin in Florida is that he's winning a lot of the same groups he did in South Carolina. He's up 37-33 with Evangelicals, 40-33 with Tea Partiers, and 36-29 with voters who describe themselves as "very conservative." The problem for him is that he's not winning those groups by the same kinds of margins that he did in the Palmetto State.

Romney continues to have a large lead in the bank in Florida. 34% of our respondents said they'd already voted and with those folks he has a 45-33 lead. That puts Gingrich in a position where he'd have to not only win the election day vote, but win it by 6 or 7 points to upset Romney in the state. The kind of reversal necessary to make that happen seems unlikely to occur in the next 48 hours.
This is why I don't like early voting. People who vote two or three weeks ahead of the election are completely immune to any news developments that occur in those final days and I don't think it helps the democratic process.  There have probably been two or three debates since some of those people voted, plus various news developments that may have changed some minds.

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