It’s not just SC; Gingrich surges ahead in Florida

This morning I was on Tom Finneran’s radio show in Boston for the third time in a week, and the subject turned to Florida, and I said something like it was unclear what would happen there — Romney was supposed to be strong. But then, he was supposed to be strong in South Carolina the week before last.

Well, it’s not unclear now. A Tweet from Rasmussen brought this to my attention exactly an hour later:

Less than two weeks ago, Mitt Romney had a 22-point lead in Florida, but that’s ancient history in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Following his big win in South Carolina on Saturday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich now is on top in Florida by nine.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Republican Primary Voters, taken Sunday evening, finds Gingrich earning 41% of the vote with Romney in second at 32%. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum runs third with 11%, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul attracts support from eight percent (8%). Nine percent (9%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here).

So the trend Gallup was picking up on late last week has accelerated. As the country watched those two debates last week, something crystallized in the minds of angry Republicans and Tea Partiers all over the country: Their anger had found its voice, and it belonged to Newt Gingrich.

9 thoughts on “It’s not just SC; Gingrich surges ahead in Florida

  1. bud

    Rasmussen has had a spotty record in the past so this one poll shouldn’t be cause for alarm. Yet it is unsettling. What may be the most significant number is the low percentage (9%) of undecided. Support for the candidates seems to be firming up. If a couple more polls confirm these numbers then I’ll panic.

  2. Karen McLeod

    It’s so much easier to stir up divisiveness and hatred, and by doing so rally the frightened and confused to your side, than it is to persuade people with reasoned argument. But the price is high. Like those who bought houses without understanding the effects of balloon payments, Mr. Gingrich may “buy” a nomination (or even a presidency) only to find out that he can’t afford it, and lose a nation.

  3. Steven Davis

    I guess the Bostonians must have gotten tired of listening to their local liberals so they had to import one to regurgitate the same message but with a Southern dialect.

  4. Steven Davis

    “Mr. Gingrich may “buy” a nomination (or even a presidency) only to find out that he can’t afford it, and lose a nation.”

    The excuses are already starting.

    BTW – Romney is outspending Gingrich by a wide margin.

  5. David Carlton

    The Republican “electorate” has been doing this throughout the past year–just as they did in 2010 with Nikki Haley in SC. The problem here is that in an environment in which politics is primarily entertainment rather than a way of seriously grappling with national problems, politicians rise and fall by criteria not much different from boy bands. There’s an argument among southern political historians that something similar produced all those colorful demagogues a century ago–that the stifling of the real, fundamental issues of southern politics with disfranchisement and the one-party South produced a showman style of politics that privileged someone who could act out resentments rather than actually grapple with problems. The main danger with Gingrich–and what may give his flavor-of-the-month real staying power–is that he apparently has the basic skills of the classic southern demagogue, which include among other things making himself the issue. That’s what he did last week; he took umbridge at Juan Williams and John King in such a way as to say “See? When they attack me they’re really attacking you! And when I disembowel them on screen I’m avenging you!” He really does remind me of Cole Blease, who got resentful mill workers to view him as their tribune a century ago [He was also an erratic phony].

  6. Brad

    I sort of like the “boy-band” concept. If we ran our political system the way they ran Menudo, we’d have replaced Nikki Haley a couple of times by now…

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