Romney leads in home stretch to Florida presidential primary

Romney 40%, Gingrich 30%, Santorum 16%, Paul 8%

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leads former House Speaker and Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich by ten points in Viewpoint Florida’s weekend survey for tomorrow’s Presidential Preference Primary in Florida.

Governor Romney earns support from 40% of respondents in our survey, while 30% of respondents said they would vote for Speaker Gingrich. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum stands out as the most liked Republican in the field, with a net +27% favorability rating among respondents (58%-31%). But his likability translates to a distant third place showing, with 16% support in our ballot test. Texas Congressman Ron Paul places fourth with 8%, and is by far the least liked candidate in the field, sporting a 61% unfavorable rating to just 30% of respondents who view him favorably.

Looking into our crosstabs, Governor Romney’s lead cuts across major demographic groups, as he leads Speaker Gingrich in all age categories and in every region of the state except for the I-10 corridor region of Florida. There does not appear to be a significant gender gap on the ballot test, as Romney’s lead with women is just 3 points higher than his support amongst men. Romney’s 46%-32% lead with voters over 65 reflects the impact of his enviable +29% net favorable rating among older voters compared to Speaker Gingrich’s -4% net rating, a dangerous place to be with any group of voters in his own party.

Region Newt Gingrich Ron Paul Mitt Romney Rick Santorum Unsure
Base 30% 8% 40% 16% 7%
North Florida / Jacksonville 35% 15% 27% 16% 7%
Orlando / Space Coast 30% 7% 44% 14% 5%
Southern 28% 4% 44% 17% 7%
Tampa / Gulf Coast 31% 8% 38% 18% 6%

The study was conducted on January 28th and 29th, 2012 among 831 Florida registered Republican voters likely to vote in the 2012 Republican Presidential Preference Primary on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012. The margin of error is +/- 3.5%.

Full Results

For details see Methodology

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