PPP tracking poll of Florida: Romney 40%, Gingrich 32%, Santorum 15%, Paul 9%

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From Public Policy Polling: PPP finds the same thing in its newest Florida poll that all surveys of the state have found in the last few days: strong movement away from Newt Gingrich and toward Mitt Romney.  Romney now leads with 40% to 32% for Gingrich, 15% for Rick Santorum, and 9% for Ron Paul. Romney has gained 7 points and Gingrich has dropped by 6 since our last poll, which was conducted Sunday and Monday.

It’s clear that the negative attacks on Gingrich have been the major difference maker over the last week. His net favorability has declined 13 points from +23 (57/34) to only +10 (50/40) in just five days. Romney has pretty much stayed in place. At the beginning of the week he was at +31 (61/30) and now he’s at +33 (64/31).

Santorum is actually the most well liked candidate among Florida voters with 65% seeing him favorably to 24% with a negative opinion.  In Iowa Santorum’s persistently high favorability ratings were a precursor to his late surge.  But as popular as he is, he’s only gone from 13% to 15% support in the last week.  It seems unlikely that he’ll be able to break into the top two.

The backbone of Romney’s support in Florida is senior citizens.  He’s getting 50% of their voters with Gingrich at only 28%. Romney also appears to have a pretty good sized lead in the bank. Among those who have already voted he’s at 45% to 35% for Gingrich.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.