Fresh Off South Carolina Win, Gingrich Leading In The Latest Polling In Florida

After all the votes were finally tallied, Rick Santorum came away with a small-margin victory in Iowa. As expected given the amount of time and money he invested there, Mitt Romney won by decent margin in New Hampshire. But then South Carolina happened, and suddenly Newt Gingrich not only has a primary victory of his own but he has the most delegates out of the four remaining candidates.

Now, heading into Florida, polling says Gingrich has the lead there:

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. …

One-in-three (32%) say they still could change their minds before they vote in the January 31 primary. Another nine percent (9%) have no initial preference yet. Fifty-nine percent (59%) are already certain of their vote, including 73% of Romney supporters and 62% of Gingrich voters.

The one bright spot for Romney is that he has an 11% lead among poll respondents who say they already voted in the primary via early voting. But that’s cold comfort given that turnout is only 14% so far in early voting, and that Gingrich has a 12 point lead among those who say they haven’t voted yet:

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 (14%) have already cast their vote.

I’ve been morose in recent weeks, seeing Mitt “Romneycare” Romney as the inevitable nominee. I couldn’t imagine someone who called a government mandate for buying health insurance a fundamental conservative value being the GOP candidate, but perhaps my cynicism was premature.

Which isn’t to say that Newt Gingrich, who talks a good game on conservatism but is far less consistent in practice, is an ideal candidate. He’s got a lot of baggage, and I don’t just mean in his personal life, but I’ll feel a little better about this process if the ultimate nominee isn’t someone who was the godfather of Obamacare.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob
  • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

    When is the next episode of The Real RINO’s of Nutterville airing?

  • Rick Olson

    Looks like the momentum has swung Newt’s way.  However, it’s a long time before we get through all the primaries and caucuses.  Before it’s all said and done, it will likely come down to either Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination.  The biggest question would be this:  Between Mitt and Newt, which one is the most electable and would either of them have what it takes to beat President Obama in November?

    Personally, if I were to base my vote on ethics and morals alone, my vote would go to Romney. However, if my vote were to be based upon experience alone, then my vote would go to Gingrich.

  • Flamejob5

    The elderly religious right (primarily former southern Blue-Dog Democrats) are such suckers.

    How disappointing.

  • Tim Heise

    The thought of “The Newt” makes me throw up in my mouth.

    • HG

      What about the thought of Obama?

  • SigFan

    Newt’s smack-down of John King last week may have been the spark that he needed.  I think a huge number of people on both sides are pretty fed-up with the media and the way they play games and favorites.  What Gingrich needs to be afraid of though is his national unfavorable ratings, which I believe are somewhere around 60%.  If he eventually ends up the nominee he’s going to have real uphill battle to overcome that – not insurmountable but definitely a struggle.  He might cut that number significantly based on who he selects for VP IMO.  I’m sure his surge and Santorum’s win in Iowa has the Republican establishment ready to chew glass though, and IMO that’s not all bad.

    • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

      Mr. Siggy, are you a fan of Ms. Coulter?

  • HG

    Gingrich has the experience and the message to not only defeat Obama, but move a conservaative agenda. 

    • Tim Heise

      barf. he can’t beat obama. I will not vote for him.

      • HG

        Whoever the republican nominee, I will vote for him.

      • HG

        We can’t afford not to vote for whoever the nominee is.

        • Tim Heise

          I agree . . . it was said in anger.

          • HG

            Been there, done that.

          • Rick Olson

            Exactly, whoever the Republican nominee is will need absolutely every last vote he can get come the general election.  Then we’ll need armies of poll watchers to make sure everything gets done right on the up and up; and the Democrats don’t try another end run to try and steal the election.  Ballots going missing, touch screen voting results magically disappearing, etc. 

          • Jamermorrow

            I would like to see a stalemate in government. The most important thing is that Republicans get big control of the senate and house. Lets face it, Republicans are more conservative when not in charge.

      • toomuchguvmint

        If everone has your view Obama  will win in the event Newt is the nominee.  

      • Jerry

        “I will not vote for him.”

        So you welcome 4 more years of obama and his continued dismantling of America.

      • Jamermorrow

        Neither will I. I will never vote for somebody that favors big government even if they are the better of two evils. Bush increased the size of government much more than most democrats ever did. Obviously Obama has even beat Bush in growing the government.

    • Rick Olson

      I think at this stage in the game, anybody could beat Obama.  That’s how unpopular the president has really become. 

      • HG

        I have my doubts about Mitt, but I’ll support whoever we nominate.  Obama is a disaster.  But, that said, I’m covinced Newt is willing and capable of accomplishing far more as President than Mitt.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          INGRAHAM: You’ve also noted that there are signs of improvement on the horizon in the economy. How do you answer the president’s argument that the economy is getting better in a general election campaign if you yourself are saying it’s getting better?

          ROMNEY: Well, of course it’s getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession, there is always a recovery. […]

          INGRAHAM: Isn’t it a hard argument to make if you’re saying, like,
          OK, he inherited this recession, he took a bunch of steps to try to turn
          the economy around, and now, we’re seeing more jobs, but vote against him anyway? Isn’t that a hard argument to make? Is that a stark enough contrast?

          ROMNEY: Have you got a better one, Laura? It just happens to be the truth.

          • HG

            That’s as good an example as any that Mitt is the weaker of our candidates. 

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Yes, you consider truthfulness and honesty a weakness.  That’s why you support the liar and cheater, Newt Gingrich.

          • Gil

            “Mitt is the weaker of our candidates.”

            No matter what kind of spin and twirl, that is exactly why hanni and the rest of the left want Romney to get the nomination.

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      Newt has momentum because he is a liar, and because he can make racially explosive statements that excite conservatives.  Mitt wont get that support because he can’t lie as easily as Newt:

      INGRAHAM: You’ve also noted that there are signs of
      improvement on the horizon in the economy. How do you answer the
      president’s argument that the economy is getting better in a general
      election campaign if you yourself are saying it’s getting better?

      ROMNEY: Well, of course it’s getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession, there is always a recovery. […]

      INGRAHAM: Isn’t it a hard argument to make if you’re saying, like,
      OK, he inherited this recession, he took a bunch of steps to try to turn
      the economy around, and now, we’re seeing more jobs, but vote against
      him anyway? Isn’t that a hard argument to make? Is that a stark enough
      contrast?

      ROMNEY: Have you got a better one, Laura? It just happens to be the truth.

      Gingrich would have lied, and he will.

      • Guest

        You, the liar and tax cheat calling someone else a liar…too funny. You hypocritical prick.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          I’m all paid up and with the Fed and State taking over 80k in taxes from me this year, I expect to get some of that back for more investments.

          • Guest

            Of course….

          • ellinas1

             Of course….

          • Guest

            You know it’s bullshit too? Cool!!

          • ellinas1

            Of course….you’d put words in my mouth, Mr Eel.

          • Guest

            I did no such thing, Mr. Elinas. I guess you didn’t see the question mark (?)

          • ellinas1

             Mea culpa, Mr Eel, mea culpa.

      • Doug

        Hey! State of the Union speech tomorrow night. We’ll sure hear some more lies from the scum bag in chief.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Hey!  Maybe the POTUS will tell us about the good news of the economy improving as Mitt stated is factual.

          • Doug

            Tell that to the 45 million people on food stamps and the 15 million unemployed. Then you can go to the over 350,000 people that filed for unemployment just last week and tell them.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            I felt the same way all through the Bush administration, but you guys convinced the American public that creating jobs and reducing the unemployment rate, even if not at the rate Clinton achieved, was a good thing.

          • Doug

            You mean that creating jobs and reducing unemployment wasn’t a good thing? Wow, you really are a mental mess.
            Good thing Clinton had Gingrich to help balance the budget and guide him through part of his presidency.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Wow, are you really saying Mitt Romney was lying when he said the economy was improving and Obama’s policies were helping?

          • Doug

            Nope, I’m saying he was wrong. 45 million people on food stamps and the 15 million unemployed. Over 350,000 people that filed for unemployment just last
            week

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            There’s no question Bush’s economy handed Obama a disaster that is difficult to erase, but we are emerging from that disaster with more jobs and a stronger economy, just as Mitt had stated was truthful.

            We can only hope for more progress without any efforts from Congress to stomp out more helpful policies.

          • Doug

            There’s no question that Bush screwed up. And there’s no question that Obama has made it worse, and continues to eliminate and discourage job growth. The pipeline is a perfect example of Obama’s agenda. The republicans have submitted 30 jobs bills that the dems refuse to vote on, why?

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            The answer to that is well known.  The conservatives forced an arbitrary  decision date that didn’t give the President enough time to determine its safety.

            WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, saying he could not vouch for its safety by a deadline despite intense election-year pressure.

            Obama’s political rivals had given him 60 days to make a decision on whether to approve the $7 billion, 1,700-mile (2,700-kilometer) pipeline route through the Great Plains to Texas, forcing him to choose between environmentalists and industry.

            The Obama administration said TransCanada Corporation could resubmit the Keystone XL project but that officials were not able to assess its plan by a February 21 deadline put into law by the Republican majority in Congress.

            “This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people,” Obama said in a statement.

            “I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision but it does not change my administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil,” said Obama, who initially hoped to make a decision in 2013.

            TransCanada said it planned to reapply for a permit. Senior State Department official Kerri-Ann Jones said that the administration would undertake a “completely new review process” .

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession
          • Doug

            “conservatives forced an arbitrary  decision date”

            The only thing arbitrary was Obama’s decision. Aside from the 3 years that had, he also had 60 days. He made the decision in 26. Had he taken another 5 weeks and then said no, you might have a more valid point.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            I think that’s clearly debatable.

            Just look at what happened  in Hawaii with the Super Ferry.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    The fact that
    Newt has taken the lead say’s more about Obama than it does Romney.

    You say Newt
    has baggage and I say, so what? Obama also has baggage and the left and their
    MSM say, so what? Republicans have to stop playing by the rules as mandated by
    Democrats. First of all, Republicans have to stop falling for the “goodie
    two shoes” defense that the left always use against them. So what if Newt
    isn’t perfect, neither is anyone else. We have a serious problem in America
    right now, it is Obama. He needs to be gone. If it takes a flawed Republican
    with warts to clean house then so be it. Newt is playing a very smart strategy
    right now, go after Obama AND his army of left wing media elites. Good, it’s
    about time someone did. Romney is a good man and we have plenty of good
    business leaders in this country to tap for economic advice. But if we don’t
    have a champion at the helm it won’t mean a hill of beans. Romney better grow a
    spine and tap his inner warrior because I don’t want a wishy washy RHINO who
    will cave into the left just to avoid a good fight. Democrats are street
    fighters and Newt seems to be the only guy who “gets it”.

    • HG

      It is amazing just how “on” Newt is lately. 

      • mickey_moussaoui

        For me it is more refreshing than amazing. Newt has always been a thorn in the side of the left.

        • Dakotacyr

          He’s a thorn in the side of Republicans!

          • mickey_moussaoui

            Only RHINO’s

          • A Citizen

            “He’s a thorn in the side of Republicans!”

            Strange statement considering how well he’s doing with….republicans.

  • mikemc1970

    Newt is intelligent and articulate enough to weave a conservative consensus among Republican voters. I’m still not sold, but it sure is nice to see someone standing up to the Alinsky-ites in the national media.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Speaking of nutterville, when can we expect to see obama’s college papers?
    I would really like to see the difference between his writing style then and his alleged style used in the book “dreams”. Afterall, he claims to be transparent.

    • Tim Heise

      I’d like to read Hillary’s Masters thesis!

    • sbark

      I’d like to see if he received student aid……….as a foreign student basis

    • Jerry

      “…when can we expect to see obama’s college papers?”

      You won’t. He spent too much money burying them.

  • sbark

    From Red State com…….. Mitt’s trouble will come from Obama. Newt’s trouble from himself. But right now, the base doesn’t care.

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    Gingrich used these forums to play to the worst instincts of his party’s
    right-wing base, aiming right at the Republican id — presenting himself
    and his party as victims, condemning the media, and adding some
    not-so-subtle racial politics to connect with South Carolina Republicans
    on a gut level. As I mentioned the other day, Gingrich’s debate performances are like dopamine for the right-wing soul.

    Funny!  I thought the same thing.
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2012_01/how_gingrich_won_sc034909.php

    • mickey_moussaoui

      yawn –

      Just as silly the second time around

      • HG

        I think that was the third.  Watching the libs head explode over Newt means he’s on target.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          That doesn’t really explain how the conservative talk shows were claiming Newt can’t win outside of the South, which is renown for it’s race based politics and racism.

          Romney will win Iowa.

          • Chris

            “the South, which is renown for it’s race based politics and racism.”

            Ah, the south. Home of Robert Byrd, leader of the KKK.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            And home to SC, whose republicans were cheering while Newt was making race based claims about blacks being unemployed and getting free hand outs.  He wouldn’t dare mention the higher percentage of those on Food stamps were whites.

          • Chris

            “He wouldn’t dare mention the higher percentage of those on Food stamps were whites.”

            You mean all the whites that have lost their jobs due to Obama’s job killing policies, I agree. 45 million people on Obama’s food stamp train. He’s a FAILURE.

  • Sp

    I said it would be Gingrich or Pawlenty and I was laughed out of town.

    Now who’s laughing, RINO boosters?

    • mickey_moussaoui

       This is a revolt against the Washington establishment.

      The left wing mentality that brought obama on us has caused the reaction we now see of another real radical getting the nomination.

      Don’t panic

    • Jerry

      You weren’t being laughed at because of your prediction.

    • HG

      Got a link?

  • WOOF

    The would be candidates have been cutting each other with razors.
    In Florida they’ll pull out the machetes.
    Let ‘em bleed.

    • HG

      Better now than later.  Exposing republicans to the attaks sure to be regurgitated by Obama is a good thing for our side.  A very good thing. 

      • mickey_moussaoui

        So true. By the time we get to the final campaign there wont be any more dirt to throw. Gosh, they may have to rely on obama’s record. Won’t that be interesting.

        • HG

          Exactly.  This vetting will make Obama the issue in the general election and he is an easy target given his record and empty promises.

  • HG

    It’s worth noting that Newt got 41% of the vote in SC.  That’s the more than any candidate has received in the prior contests.  Mitt managed 27%.  That’s not bad but Newt cleaned his clock.

    With Newt already polling at the same 41% in Florida, should he do well in the debates, that number may grow.

    Go Newt!

  • sbark

    I like Rush’s take on Newt’s South Carolina victory……………

    “Newt is not getting these votes because there’s a wild, uncontrollable desire for him to be president. It’s the message that he’s sending. He is speaking for millions of Republicans who see the way he’s doing things as a solution, and as a strategy for victory over Barack Obama. Newt’s a messenger.” -Rush

    “This is not the voters saying, ‘We love Newt! Newt’s the only guy!’ That’s not what’s going on here. Newt’s a vessel right now, and Newt would be wise to understand that, too.” -Rush

  • The Political Informer

    I could jump up and down in excitment over Newt’s rising in the polls and winning of the SC primary! Ha, take that you establishment republicans and losers in the media! Obama is going home in rags and shame.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    We already have an imperfect president. I see no benefit in keeping him in office. Regardless of Newt’s flaws or what you may feel about him there is one undeniable truth. Newt is an upgrade to obama.

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