This Florida Decides Poll has been getting a lot of national coverage. Mason-Dixon partnered with 13, Bay News 9, The Tampa Times and the Miami Herald to deliver these numbers that have Mitt Romney pulling away from Newt Gingrich. Take a look.
Your choice could determine who will take on President Obama this November, and it could be Mitt Romney’s race to lose.
A new exclusive News 13 Florida Decides Poll offers a better idea of who’s in the best position to win the Florida primary on Tuesday and take on Obama.
Jump to: Complete Poll Results
Newt Gingrich has seen his early lead vanish in Florida, now Mitt Romney appears poised to claim victory this Tuesday.
Romney leads Gingrich by 11 points, 42 to 31 percent. Rick Santorum is a distant third at 14 percent. Ron Paul, who has not campaigned in Florida, comes in with 6 percent. The X factor – 7 percent responded as undecided, meaning they haven’t picked who they’ll vote for yet.
“Central Florida, the I-4 corridor, could be perhaps the most important group of voters in the country,” said News 13 Political Analyst Frank Torres.
“It’s a bellwether for how the rest of the state will go,” described News 13 Political Analyst Jeremiah Jaspon.
That poll also breaks down how Central Florida from Tampa to Daytona would vote. Those results show the race a little tighter.
Mitt Romney with a 7 point lead over Gingrich, 40 to 33 percent. The others are essentially the same when comparing I-4 to the rest of Florida.
Among Mitt Romney’s biggest supporters are Florida Hispanics. Taking into account just those surveyed for our poll, 52 percent said they would vote for Romney compared to 28 percent for Gingrich. That’s a 24 point difference. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul poll in single digits.
Taking on Barack Obama
Who stands the best chance of beating President Obama in November?
A News 13 Florida Decides poll shows voters think Mitt Romney would beat Obama in a head to head match up if the election were held today.
After the GOP candidates finish targeting each other, they’ll turn their attacks to the president.
“Florida alternates, red, blue, red, blue. Who knows what it will be this year,” said Torres.
Republicans badly want to win back the White House, and they’ll vote for the man they think stands the best chance against Obama.
Romney edges the president by 4 points, with 8 percent still undecided.
“It’s vital the president spend a lot of time here and makes sure the economy moves forward in Central Florida,” said Jaspon.
Newt Gingrich did not fare as well against Obama.
Poll results have him losing to the president by 9 points, 50 percent to 41 percent, with 9 percent undecided.
“They understand that if we get anyone but Romney, it will be a cakewalk for re-election for the president,” said political analyst Jaspon.
Why? Because Newt is high on himself. He is blunt and forward. If he is the nominee, he is a liability for Republicans of saying something that could turn off independent voters,” explained political analyst Torres.
What about the attacks being leveled by Gingrich and Romney against each other?
News 13’s poll asked what people thought about Newt Gingrich and his work as a consultant for Freddie Mac.
Fifty-two percent had a negative view compared to just 28 percent with a positive view, and 20 percent weren’t sure.
Match that up against people’s view of Mitt Romney and his work as CEO of Bain Capital:
Seventy-four percent of people viewed that as positive and only 13 percent responded negatively. Thirteen percent weren’t sure.
“I think the rhetoric coming out of the Republicans right now is scaring away the independent voter,” said Torres.
Those so-called “cannibalistic” Republican attacks are serving the president well at this point.
When the GOP does finally select a nominee, the war for I-4 votes will be pivotal in the race for the White House.
The telephone survey of 800 registered Florida voters — all likely to vote in the general election — was conducted Jan. 24-26 for the Tampa Bay Times, Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13. The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, a nonpartisan, Jacksonville-based company. The margin of error overall is 3.5 percentage points.