Two weeks away from the Presidential Preference Primary, Mitt Romney holds a commanding lead over the Republican presidential pack in Florida, according to a Sunshine State News Poll of likely primary voters.
Romney tops the poll, which was conducted by Harrisburg, Pa.-based Voter Survey Service (VSS), with 46 percent. When he ran in the 2008 primary, Romney placed second in Florida, taking 31 percent and winning 18 of the 67 counties in the Sunshine State.
“Romney is the clear favorite, and you’d have to conclude he even has a shot to win 50 percent of the GOP vote, depending on what happens in South Carolina,” Jim Lee, the president of Voter Survey Service, told Sunshine State News on Monday. “His media saturation of the Florida airways is clearly having an impact, and, based on what I have learned, he is staying on message by talking about spending and deficits — two issues GOP voters care about.”
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich places a distant second with 20 percent. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who lost the Iowa caucus to Romney by eight votes, takes third with 12 percent.
Also, there is the latest Florida PPP Poll.
Mitt Romney’s in a strong position to win this weekend in South Carolina, and he’s in an even stronger position to follow it up with a big win in Florida. Our first Sunshine State poll of 2012 finds Romney with a 15 point lead at 41% to Newt Gingrich’s 26% with Rick Santorum at 11%, Ron Paul at 10%, Rick Perry at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 1% rounding out the field.
Romney’s lead expands further when you look only at voters whose minds are completely made up, to 48-27 over Gingrich. 71% of his voters say they’ll definitely cast their ballot for him, compared to only 61% who say the same for Gingrich.
There’s been an enormous shift in Florida since PPP last polled the state right after Thanksgiving. Romney’s gained 24 points, going from 17% to 41%. Meanwhile Gingrich has dropped 21 points, going from 47% to 26%.
A time for choosing this Saturday in South Carolina and then onto Florida, where Romney has a commanding lead.
Looks like this race is just about over.