December 8, 2011 -
Newt Gingrich has opened up a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney in Florida’s Republican primary, a new Quinnipiac University poll says.
Gingrich is the preferred candidate of 35 percent of Republicans in the poll. Romney is favored by 22 percent. Ron Paul is a distant third at 8 percent. The poll, conducted Nov. 28-Dec. 5, has a 4.3 percent margin of error. A month ago, Herman Cain topped the GOP field in Florida with 27 percent, followed by Romney’s 21 percent and Gingrich’s 17 percent.
At the same stage four years ago, Quinnipiac’s polling showed Rudy Giuliani with an 18-point lead in Florida while eventual Florida winner and GOP nominee John McCain was a distant fourth.
The newest poll suggests Romney is a slightly stronger candidate than Gingrich in a general election matchup against President Obama. Romney holds a 45-to-42 percent lead over Obama among all Florida voters, while Obama tops Gingrich by a 46-to-44 percent margin. The general election poll of Floridians has a 2.8 percent margin of error.
Fifty-four percent of Floridians disapprove of the way Obama is doing his job, with 41 percent approving. Gov. Rick Scott has a 52 percent disapproval score, with 33 percent approving.