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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Florida GOP Primary Pendulum Starts Swinging Back Towards Gingrich

By Susan Duclos

Polling in Florida over the last two weeks has been like a pendulum swinging back and forth between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney and today, one of the first pollsters to originally see Romney surging to take the lead, Insider Advantage, is now seeing Gingrich surging yet again.

Lets go back a couple weeks and work our way forward.

Florida Polls:

January 17, 2012: Sunshine State News/VSS had Mitt Romney up in Florida by 26 percentage points. Public Policy Polling had Romney up by 15 percentage points.

January 18, 2012, CNN/Time had Romney up in Florida by 24 points.

After Gingrich's South Carolina win, where just days before Romney was up in the polls by a double digit lead, Gingrich came back from behind and beat Romney by 12 percentage points.

January 23, 2012: Both Insider Advantage and Rasmussen showed Newt Gingrich in the lead in Florida by 8 and 9 percentage points, respectively.

January 24, 2012: Public Policy Polling had Gingrich up by 5 points.

January 26, 2012: Insider Advantage along with Rasmussen and Monmouth/Survey USA, all were the first to list Romney ahead in the polls again by 8, 8 and 7 points respectively.

January 29, 2012: Romney's lead expanded to double digits, with Survey USA, NBC News/Marist, Miami Herald/Mason-Dixon and Rasmussen, showing Romney up by double digits ranging from 11 points to 16 points ahead of Gingrich.

We reach January 30, 2012, the day before the Florida primaries and Insider Advantage shows a late swing of that pendulum heading back in Gingrich's direction with Romney ahead only by 5 now.

  • Romney 36 percent
  • Gingrich 31 percent
  • Santorum 12 percent
  • Paul 12 percent
  • Other/Undecided 9 percent

Matt Towery, chief pollster of InsiderAdvantage told Newsmax, "The race will be tighter than expected."

Towery noted that his poll showed a surge for Romney on Wednesday, with him leading Gingrich by 8 points. The InsiderAdvantage poll was among the first to show Romney's resurgence after his dismal showing in the S. Carolina primary.

The InsiderAdvantage poll was also the first to show Gingrich's rise in S. Carolina and accurately forecast his win there.

"The trend is favoring Gingrich," Towery said, noting that while Romney's lead was still outside the margin of error of 3.8 percent, "It's not by much."

Towery said Gingrich is doing "substantially better" with men than Romney, 38 to 28, but the former House Speaker still faces a "gender gap," as women are still favoring Romney.

"Men are moving in droves to Gingrich and away from Romney," Towery said.

As for Florida's important Latino vote, InsiderAdvantage has Gingrich beating Romney by a large margin, leading 42 percent to 29 percent.

Is this surge for Gingrich to little, too late?

South Carolina taught us that a candidate can be ahead by double digits the week of the primary as Romney was and still end up losing by double digits as Romney lost to Gingrich.