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New Florida Polls Show Big Swing to Gingrich

I had written on Saturday night, before the results of the South Carolina primary were known, that Mitt Romney could not necessarily bank on holding down a lead in Florida despite recently having had a double-digit advantage in the polls there.

These polls had not yet accounted for the large swing against Mr. Romney and toward Mr. Gingrich in state and national polls. In the Gallup national tracking poll, for instance, Mr. Romney’s lead dwindled from 24 points to 5 points over a matter of days, representing a 19-point swing. And the swing against Mr. Romney in South Carolina — from a lead of about 12 points in the polls early last week to a loss by about that margin on Saturday night — was closer to 25 points.

Two new automated polls suggest that the swing in momentum — plus whatever additional gains Mr. Gingrich made from the favorable news coverage following his South Carolina win — are enough to have given him the lead in Florida.

The first poll, from Rasmussen Reports, puts Mr. Gingrich ahead by 9 points, 41 to 32. The second poll, from Insider Advantage, pegs Mr. Gingrich’s lead at 8 points. Both polls conducted all their interviews on Sunday in the immediate aftermath of Mr. Gingrich’s South Carolina victory.

Polls from InsiderAdvantage have generally had more favorable results for Mr. Gingrich than those conducted by other polling firms, and the C.E.O. of the polling firm, Matt Towery, is a former Gingrich campaign chairman.

Rasmussen Reports polls, however — although they have sometimes shown a Republican “lean” in general elections — have not been particularly friendly to Mr. Gingrich in recent weeks. Instead, the firm’s previous poll of Florida — conducted just 11 days ago — had given Mr. Romney a 22-point lead there.

Although polling is often volatile in nomination races, it has not been common in the past to see swings of quite this large a magnitude. Notable exceptions would include John Kerry in 2004, who had a major surge in the polls both before and after his win in the Iowa caucuses, and

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RobertButler Posted by on Jan 23 2012. Filed under 2012 Presidential Campaign. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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