Mitt Romney Closing Strong in Florida Over John McCain, Huckabee, Giuliani

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 27, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mitt Romney Closing Strong in Florida Over John McCain, Huckabee, Giuliani Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 27,

Tallahassee, FL ( — As Florida Republicans prepare to head to the polls on Tuesday, new surveys show Mitt Romney is closing strong in the Sunshine State and taking a very narrow lead from John McCain. Previous polls had McCain leading and then the two tied towards the end of last week’s tracking polling data.

A new Rasmussen poll released on Sunday shows Romney leading with the backing of 33 percent of Republicans to 27 percent for McCain. Rudy Giuliani has the support of 18 percent while Mike Huckabee rounds out the top four with 12 percent.

A poll by the Republican political firm Insider Advantage shows Romney with a two point lead.

It has the former Massachusetts governor with 26 percent to 24 percent for McCain, 16 percent for Giuliani and 15 percent for Huckabee.

A third survey, from Reuters/C-Span/Zogby, shows Romney and McCain tied at 30 percent apiece with Huckabee at 14 percent and Giuliani at 13 percent. However, the Zogby poll shows Romney gaining two percent and McCain losing one percent from two days ago.

The surveys also show the trend from the last few days.

Rasmussen has Romney gaining six points from the middle of last week, McCain gaining just four, while Giuliani and Huckabee have lost support. Insider Advantage has Romney gaining three and McCain up one while Giuliani stayed at the same level and Huckabee gained.

The polling data makes it appear Romney has captured a significant amount of support from undecided voters with his heavy advertising and from supporters of Fred Thompson, who dropped out last week.

Meanwhile, McCain appears to continue to gain former backers of Rudy Giuliani, who continues his slide in the polls and appears less and less likely to mount a comeback in Florida.

"As Florida voters seek to decide between the two frontrunners, support for other candidates is fading," Rasmussen indicates.

Romney leads 42% to 22% among conservative voters while McCain leads 43% to 25% among moderates, Rasmussen reports.

Despite trailing the other candidates, 85 percent of Huckcabee’s supporters are either certain they will vote for him or have already voted. Eighty percent of Romney’s supporters are that “certain” along with 79% of Giuliani voters and 72% of those who support McCain.

All of the polls were conducted before Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced his endorsement of McCain, which could have some last-minute bearing as he campaigns for the Arizona senator.

In all the polls, Republican candidate Ron Paul polls at low single digits.