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PPP Polls Florida: Gingrich 47%, Romney 17%

4:03 PM, Nov 30, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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And here's the second poll out today showing Newt Gingrich with a whopping lead over Mitt Romney in Florida:

In Florida Gingrich is at 47% to 17% for Romney, 15% for Herman Cain, 5% for Ron Paul, 4% for Michele Bachmann, 3% for Jon Huntsman, 2% for Rick Perry, 1% for Rick Santorum, and 0% for Gary Johnson....

In addition to his support for the nomination, Romney's personal popularity is down too. His Florida favorability was +43 (65/22) and it's declined 28 points to +15 (51/36)....

The biggest reason for Newt Gingrich's rise is that he's picked up the voters of Herman Cain and Rick Perry as their campaigns have fallen apart.  But these numbers make it pretty clear he's doing more than that- some of Mitt Romney's '25%' is starting to fall off and move toward Newt as well.

The magnitude of Gingrich's leads now is an indication that he's appealing to every segment of the Republican electorate.  He's up with the Tea Party in both states (53% to 24% for Cain and 7% for Romney in Florida, 42% to 18% for Bachmann, 13% for Cain, 10% for Paul, and 5% for Romney in Montana.) But he's winning over party moderates as well (33% to 22% for Romney in Florida, 31% to 17% for Romney in Montana.) Gingrich's favorability in Florida is 72/21 and in Montana it's 65/23.  You don't attain those kinds of numbers without having a lot of appeal to every faction in the party.

Gingrich's strength in Florida points to one of the aspects of his candidacy that hasn't received a ton of attention yet: his appeal to senior citizens.  Florida has one of the oldest Republican electorates in the country and with voters over 65 he's at 54%.

If these kind of poll numbers hold up, Newt Gingrich will be the Republican nominee. Of course, that's a very big if.

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