Survey USA poll of Florida looks like Q-pol: Romney 36%, Gingrich 25%, Santorum 17%

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With three weeks to the Florida GOP Presidential Primary, Mitt Romney is positioned to capture the state’s 50 delegates, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for WFLA-TV in Tampa.

On the eve of the New Hampshire Primary, and before South Carolina votes, Florida sets up: Romney at 36%, Newt Gingrich at 25%, Rick Santorum at 17%, with Ron Paul and others in single digits. Florida’s primary is “closed”; only registered Republicans may vote; unlike Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, independents may not vote.

There are numerous encouraging signs for Romney:

Among evangelicals, Romney holds a narrow lead, a direct result of Gingrich and Santorum splitting the evangelical vote.
Among pro-life voters, Romney holds a narrow lead, a direct result of Gingrich and Santorum splitting the pro-life vote.
Among voters who say same-sex couples should be given “no legal recognition,” Romney holds a narrow lead, a direct result of Gingrich and Santorum splitting the “no legal recognition” vote.
Among moderates (one quarter of likely Florida Republican primary voters), Romney leads 2:1. Among conservatives (half of FL GOP primary voters), Romney leads 3:2. Only among those who describe themselves as “very conservative” (one quarter of primary voters) does Santorum nose ahead of Romney, with Gingrich right behind.
Romney leads in all 5 regions of the state.
Romney leads among lower-income, middle-income and upper income voters.
Romney leads among less-educated voters and more-educated voters.
Romney leads among both men and women.
Romney leads among both young and old.

Only among tea-party members (15% of likely primary voters), does Romney finish 3rd, behind Gingrich and Santorum.

Compared to SurveyUSA’s most recent poll in Florida, released one month ago, after Herman Cain had dropped out but before interest groups in Iowa and elsewhere began attacking Newt Gingrich, the contest is materially changed. Then, Gingrich led Romney in Florida by 22 points. Today, Gingrich trails Romney by 11, a 33-point swing. Then, prior to a strong finish in Iowa, Santorum in Florida was at 2%. Today, Santorum in Florida is at 17%. Click on the “Triangle T” where you see it, to open interactive tracking graphs, a SurveyUSA exclusive.

Romney’s net favorability among Florida GOP Primary voters is Plus 39 (57% favorable, 18% unfavorable).
Gingrich’s net favorability is Plus 30 (51% favorable, 21% unfavorable).
Santorum’s net favorability is Plus 29 (47% favorable, 18% unfavorable).
Paul’s net favorability is Minus 28 (18% favorable, 46% unfavorable).

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.