Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Polling Report: Special Florida Edition

I thought this one might be more fun, but Mitt's got Florida all sewn up. It will be the first non-New England state he'll have won so far, and if he gets over 40% (he will) he can claim a sizable mandate for the nomination. Newt is sounding too screechy these days, and his call for a moon shot was one of those over-the-top moments we came to expect from Herman Cain or Rick Perry.

Here are the latest RealClearPolitics numbers. Clearly, they show Romney running away with the Sunshine State. He's feeling good, cracking jokes and generally loosening up on the hustings. If he can keep that up, he might actually be able to change the perception many people have of him as a tightly wound button-down candidate. The only other drama I can summon from this race is that perhaps the conservatives will abandon Newt as the conservative standard-bearer in favor of Rick Santorum. That might take time to play out, Ron Paul is, well, Ron Paul.

The prediction:

Romney    43%
Gingrich    31%
Santorum  14%
Paul          11%

Romney gets big headlines, more endorsements and money for his PAC. Gingrich says he's going to stay in the race, but I can see him not making it to Super Tuesday in March. Santorum leapfrogs over Newt into second place as more conservatives see him as the last best forlorn hope. Paul is, well, Paul.

That wailing sound you hear in the distance is Tim Pawlenty.

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