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Gingrich Opens Up Huge Lead in Florida Poll

Gingrich Opens Up Huge Lead in Florida Poll

By Kyle Adams - November 30, 2011


Newt Gingrich leads Mitt Romney by more than 20 points in the important early-voting state of Florida, according to a new Insider Advantage poll.

Gingrich has 41 percent support, up from 12 percent in Insider Advantage's October Florida poll, while Romney has 17 percent, down from 33 percent in the October poll. Businessman Herman Cain, who is fading in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity, sits in third place with 13 percent. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has 7 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 4 percent, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has 3 percent, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum rounds out the field with 1 percent.

The former House speaker has benefited from strong debate performances and the collapse of candidates such as Perry and Cain, who enjoyed brief spells at the top of the field. He has attempted to cast himself as the "conservative alternative" to Romney, who shot back in an interview on Fox News on Tuesday night, charging that Gingrich is a "lifelong politician."

The Florida poll comes on the heels of an Insider Advantage poll released Tuesday that showed Gingrich leading by 15 points in Iowa. And a Rasmussen Reports poll also released Tuesday showed Gingrich moving closer to Romney in the former Massachusetts' governor's stronghold of New Hampshire. Nationally, Gingrich holds a narrow 2.5 percentage point lead in the RCP Average.

Florida's Jan. 31 primary comes 10 days after South Carolina Republicans go to the polls, offering Sunshine State voters a chance to add clarity to the race after the traditional early-voting states have their say.

Insider Advantage surveyed 513 likely Florida primary voters on Tuesday. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Kyle Adams can be reached at kadams@realclearpolitics.com.

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