Monday, January 23, 2012

Gingrich grabs Fla. lead but some Republicans want... Mitch Daniels?

The GOP presidential ground has shifted, according to two Florida polls released today: The latest Rasmussen Reports poll, a telephone survey of likely Florida Republican primary voters taken Sunday evening found Newt Gingrich the new front-runner with 41 percent of the vote compared to Mitt Romney's 32 percent. Less than two weeks ago, Romney had a 22-point lead in Florida. Gingrich's S.C. win Saturday changed that.

In the poll, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum runs third with 11 percent, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul has eight percent. Nine percent remain undecided.

Romney still has this going for him: Florida allows early voting, and Romney leads among those voters by 11 points. Gingrich leads by 12 among those who have not yet voted. Fourteen percent have already cast their vote.

One-in-three (32 percent) say they still could change their minds before they vote in the January 31 primary. Fifty-nine percent are already certain of their vote, including 73 percent of Romney supporters and 62 percent of Gingrich voters.

The survey results giving Gingrich the lead are consistent with the trend displayed the InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research poll of Florida Republican voters, which was released earlier today. In the InsiderAdvantage poll, Gingrich gets support from 34.4 percent of Republican voters and Romney gets 25.6 percent.

The Weekly Standard blog said the poll could either be an outlier or the beginning of a big shift in the Sunshine State. The RealClear Politics average for Florida, with this InsiderAdvantage one included, has Romney at 36.7 percent, Gingrich at 26.0 percent, Santorum 13.7 percent, and Paul with 10.7 percent.

Democratic-leaning polling Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling, PPP, announced on Twitter Sunday night that it was currently polling Florida. "First night of our Florida polling: Romney and Gingrich are neck and neck," PPP announced. A few minutes later, came this one: "2 more people picked Mitt than Newt out of about 600 people we polled tonight...that's how close we're talking."

A still dominant player in the GOP race is this: "None of the above" is the answer some Republican voters are giving to the field of candidates as the four remaining declared suitors start mixing it up in Florida. That prompted William Kristol of the conservative Weekly Standard to recycle parts of a piece he wrote two months ago.

He noted Sunday that two months ago, he wrote an editorial headlined "Evitable" with the subhead: "It might not be Mitt. It could be Newt. It could be someone else."

He said the editorial concluded: “Or, if Iowa (January 3), New Hampshire (January 10) and South Carolina (January 21) produce fragmented results, and the state of the race is disheartening to Republicans, a late January entry [I'd now say an early February entry] by another candidate isn't out of the question, either..."

In the Sunday piece, Kristol then pointed a website for a possible late entry candidate: GOP Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. The site says, " is not connected to any candidate or campaign, current or prospective. The purpose of this petition, which was created by a single voter in Virginia, is to demonstrate to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels that the number of Americans who would prefer him to the current field of candidates is more than sufficient to justify the effort." The site also says that as of Jan. 21, "2,504 Americans have signed" the petition.

OK. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Romney and is now is attack dog against Gingrich (he called him “an embarrassment to the party,” citing his ethics violation and the fact that he was thrown out as speaker of the House by his own party on "Meet the Press" Sunday. But there's a draft Mitch Daniels site but not one for Chris Christie - really?

One bit of good news for Romney today. He got the endorsement of the Pensacola News Journal - if that means anything. John McCain got the paper's nod in 2008. It's northwest Florida’s most widely-read paper.

Posted by Associate Editor Fannie Flono


Aimee said...

Since when is it OK for a newspaper to endorse a candidate? I'm not naive enough to think that our media is unbiased, but I thought we were at least still holding onto the illusion...

John said...

Uh, just now starting to pay attention? They've been doing about as long as there have been elections! If you are that ill-informed... might want to reconsider voting!

Anonymous said...

Who won the debate?
Who was pleasing the voters the most? OR Who was pleasing God the most.
Since the latter question is decisive for the future of a country I will will talk about it.
Nobody was focusing on God's will. Nobody was giving Him honor for the good that happened and nobody was talking about the law of Christ, whom is given all authority.
So I cannot tell who was most pleasing to God.

Watch: German preacher's thoughts on 2012

Anonymous said...

Generally speaking, from a conservative standpoint, Daniels would appeal more than Gingrich and especially Romney. The one thorny issue: Daniels has showed as Indiana governor he will get in bed with any company willing to relocate/expand there, which is good for economic development but makes you think that as President he will gladly enslave himself to whatever lobbyist promises him the biggest promises. And that's the last thing we need.