Thursday, June 23, 2011

Romney leads the way in Florida

Mitt Romney has a double digit lead for the Republican Presidential nomination in Florida, further cementing his front runner status in the wake of Mike Huckabee's exit from the race.

Romney is at 27% to 17% for Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, 10% for Herman Cain, 8% for Newt Gingrich, 7% for Ron Paul, 4% for Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Jon Huntsman.

Romney now has the outright lead in PPP's most recent polls in all 5 of the key early Republican contests: in addition to the Florida advantage he's up by 9 in South Carolina, 6 in Iowa, 15 in Nevada, and 23 in New Hampshire.

Beyond Romney's continued strength the big stories here are the rise of Michele Bachmann and the collapse of Newt Gingrich. Bachmann's 17% standing represents a 10 point gain from PPP's last Florida poll in late March, when she stood at only 7%. Her strength comes from leading the field with 'very conservative' voters at 21%, followed by Palin at 20%, and Romney at 18%.

Romney's Florida lead is built on a familiar formula. He's not winning with the far right voters who constitute a plurality of the Republican electorate, but he's at least staying competitive with them. Meanwhile he's dominating the field with moderates (a 36-15 lead over Palin) and with voters who identify themselves as just 'somewhat conservative' (a 32-15 advantage over Bachmann.)

While Bachmann's rising with Florida Republicans, Gingrich has tanked. On our last poll he was tied for the lead with Romney at 18%. Now he finds himself in 5th place and with less than half as much support at 8%. Beyond Gingrich other people who have to be seen as losers on this poll are Huntsman and Pawlenty. Huntsman's 2% standing is consistent with how he's polling with pretty much every group of voters except beltway journalists. And Pawlenty's 4% in Florida matches his 4% in South Carolina- he doesn't have any resonance yet with GOP voters in the south.

If you take Palin out of the mix, Bachmann picks up 37% of her supporters to 20% for Romney, 14% for Cain, and 13% for Gingrich. That leaves the overall standings in a Palin less field at 29% for Romney, 22% for Bachmann, 14% for Cain, and 10% for Gingrich. GOP polls PPP will release in Montana and Oregon over the course of the next few days will also provide evidence that Bachmann has stepped into the role as top alternative to Romney for GOP voters.

Here's how the favorabilities of everyone we polled in Florida stack up:


Favorability (net)

Change from March poll

Jeb Bush

75/17 (+58)

+12 (was +46 at 68/22)

Sarah Palin

67/27 (+40)

+8 (was +32 at 62/30)

Paul Ryan

49/10 (+39)

Not included

Rudy Giuliani

60/22 (+38)

+21 (was +17 at 51/34)

Chris Christie

49/12 (+37)

Not included

Michele Bachmann

58/22 (+36)

+1 (was +35 at 44/9)

Herman Cain

48/19 (+29)

Not included

Rick Santorum

42/13 (+29)

Not included

Mitt Romney

56/30 (+26)

-11 (was +37 at 61/24)

Rick Perry

38/12 (+26)

Not included

Ron Paul

44/31 (+13)

-24 (was +37 at 53/16)

Tim Pawlenty

38/26 (+12)

-20 (was +32 at 40/8)

Newt Gingrich

46/37 (+9)

-23 (was +32 at 58/26)

Jon Huntsman

17/15 (+2)

Not included

Gary Johnson

6/11 (-5)

Not included

Fred Karger

3/10 (-7)

Not included

Buddy Roemer

3/14 (-11)

Not included

It's interesting to note that the 5 most popular figures we polled- Bush, Palin, Ryan, Giuliani, and Christie- are all not actually running. That shows you how much room there still is for someone else to enter this race and vault straight to the top tier of contenders. We actually asked a question about a sort of Republican 'dream field' in Florida and unsurprisingly Bush led the way in his home state with 27% to 17% for Romney, 14% for Palin, and 12% for Christie and Bachmann.

Full results here

1 comment:

Murdock Wallis said...

Thanks for the version of the poll WITHOUT PALIN, because she is not running, so polls with her included are of much less use.

Everything that Palin has done is perfectly consistent with being rich and famous. She has also failed to do the sort of groundwork consistent with running for president.

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