And We Are Off And Running In Florida!

What’s it looking like?

(PPP) PPP’s tracking of the Florida Republican primary wraps up with Mitt Romney at 39%, Newt Gingrich at 31%, Rick Santorum at 15%, and Ron Paul at 11%. Our three days of tracking found very little movement in the race: Romney was at 39-40% every day, Gingrich was at 31-32% every day, Santorum was at 14-15% every day, and Paul was at 9-11% every day.

(Washington Post) A new Quinnipiac University poll released Monday on the final full day of campaigning in Florida shows Romney with a 14-point lead over Gingrich, 43 percent to 29 percent, among likely GOP primary voters. That compares to a lead of 38 percent to 29 percent at the end of last week, Quinnipiac said.

Florida is a winner take all state for the primary delegates, and The Politico has 5 things to watch

1) Mitt’s margin – Gingrich needs a close race more than Romney needs a blowout victory. (especially with no debates till Feb 22)

2) Newt and women – Gingrich did well in S.C. with women, despite, as the say, the affairs and divorces. Can he do the same in Florida?

3) Hispanic Republicans – Mitt was blown out in Florida in 2008 by McCain with Hispanic voters. What happens this go-around?

4) The Panhandle and Northeast Florida – In the Panhandle and in Florida’s rural north, GOP voters are demographically similar to the South Carolinians who propelled Gingrich to victory.

5) Rick Santorum’s performance – The former Pennsylvania senator didn’t do any campaigning in the state over the weekend and then spent Monday in Missouri and Minnesota. He’s largely written off Florida, despite winning rave reviews for his debate performances last week and continuing to win some local endorsements.

That’s weird, they don’t even mention Ron Paul. Perhaps the Jewish Florida retirees don’t care for his anti-Semitism and potential abandonment of Israel while he would ignore Iran moving forward to becoming a nuclear weapons nation. Maybe people in Florida aren’t into racist writings and conspiracy theories.

Back to the PPP article

The hubbub over Romney’s tax returns early last week may have enhanced his chances in the state. The truth is that being wealthy and successful is not a liability with Republican voters- it’s a selling point. We find that 66% of primary voters have a favorable opinion of ‘rich people’ to only 8% with a negative opinion of them. All the awareness of how rich Romney is may have sent Florida Republicans a message that Romney is someone who knows what he’s doing.

and

Gingrich erred with his proposal last week for a ‘moon colony.’ Only 21% of voters support his idea while 53% are opposed and more importantly it made Gingrich look like a flake. At the beginning of last week Gingrich and Romney were seen as equally electable against Barack Obama. Now 49% see Romney as the party’s strongest candidate in the fall to 25% for Gingrich.

Gingrich has stated multiple times that he is in it for the long haul. He’s also stated multiple times that Santorum should drop out.

Truth is, both Newt and Mitt need to put the negativity aside, stop beating on each other, and push their own positives, for the most part. Stop getting into pissing matches, especially during the debates with Liberal moderators from liberal TV stations, who push them to virtual blows on purpose. Santorum should stay in, if he wants. What’s your guess regarding Florida?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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