After what is being called a ‘stale’ debate performance, Newt’s campaigning in Florida is showing signs of peaking too early. Just four days before the Florida primary, Mitt Romney has opened up a lead over Newt Gingrich, a new poll Friday shows.
Romney now stands at 38 percent support in the Sunshine State, compared with the former House Speaker’s 29 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. Just two days ago, another Quinnipiac poll showed a very close race, with Romney at 36 percent and Gingrich at 34 percent.
One explanation of the shift is the changing views of male voters. Earlier this week they supported Gingrich, 37 percent to Romney’s 33 percent. Now, Romney leads among men 36 percent to 29 percent. Romney’s support among women, which stands at 40 percent, remains virtually unchanged from Wednesday. Gingrich continues to hold around 30 percent support among female voters.
Another explanation is that the Republican establishment is beginning to revolt against Gingrich in large numbers. Former presidential candidate Bob Dole had scorching criticism of Gingrich saying that (sic) ‘he used to have a new idea every minutes, most of which were out there’.
What has the establishment so up-in-arms is the fact that when put up against Obama, Gingrich is only polling in the 30s. Romney is polling much closer to 45% and appears to be much more electable. Electability seems to be one of the most important factors to most primary voters.
Even if Mitt Romney is able to win in Florida and eventually become the Republican nominee, will he be able to repair the damage that the Gingrich campaign has inflicted? If Gingrich is able to stay in the race for several more states (as it appears is possible with his casino suger-daddy), how much more damage will he inflict? Wouldn’t there be some interesting irony if Super PAC money ends up destroying the GOPs presidential aspirations.