Mitt Romney,  Newt Gingrich,  Polling,  President 2012

President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Trouble Ahead for Romney After Florida?

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney calls voters, as he is seated with volunteers, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, at his campaign office in Tampa, Florida

Apparently so, according to new polls.

Mitt Romney’s headed for a big victory in Florida today but new PPP polls in Missouri and Ohio find the road ahead might be a little bit tougher for him, especially if Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum drops out of the race and leaves a single conservative alternative.

Rick Santorum is leading the way for next week’s ‘beauty contest’ primary in Missouri with 45% to 34% for Romney, and 13% for Ron Paul. Newt Gingrich is not on the ballot for that, but he will be in the picture for Missouri’s caucus and leads the way for that with 30% to 28% for Santorum, 24% for Romney, and 11% for Paul.

In Ohio Gingrich is at 26% to 25% for Romney, 22% for Santorum, and 11% for Paul.

What might be most interesting in both states is what happens in a head to head between Romney and either Gingrich or Santorum:

  • In Missouri Santorum leads Romney 50-37 and in Ohio Santorum leads 45-38.
  • In Missouri Gingrich leads Romney 43-42 and in Ohio Gingrich leads 42-39.

My guess is that Rick Santorum may be prevailed upon to drop out after a while – or simply run out of money. Newt Gingrich has a sugar daddy in Las Vegas and says he will go on to the summer Republican Convention.

A one on one race with Romney is what Newt wants. But, will he get it in time?

This race is NOT over today with a Romney win – no matter how big the victory is.

The results of the polls are here.