In keeping with the video of the day, the polling isn’t exactly clear on what is happening here.
How is it that Romney would be “surging” in Florida but nowhere else? (added) Perhaps it’s that Romney is outspending Newt more than 3-1 in Florida, but that has been going on for a long time so it would be hard to attribute a sudden movement to the spending.
Also, a Dixie Strategies poll, with by far the largest sample size in Florida and which includes two days of polling after the Monday debate, shows a virtual tie:
In the three days leading up to Thursday’s debate at the University of North Florida, First Coast News and St. Augustine-based Dixie Strategies commissioned the Dixie Strategies/First Coast News Public Opinion Survey, a poll of Republicans throughout the state who described themselves as “likely” voters in the Jan. 31 primary.
When asked, “If the Republican Presidential Primary were held today, for whom would you vote?,” 35.46 percent of the 2,567 likely voters polled selected former House speaker Gingrich, and 35.08 percent selected Romney.
The same question showed former senator Rick Santorum in a distant third place with 9.38 percent, followed by Ron Paul’s 7.42 percent.
I could see justifications for changes post Thursday debate, but it’s not clear who it helps. It was not a good debate for Newt, but Romney got hurt by Santorum as well.
The media momentum until yesterday was on Romney’s side based on the false and misleading attacks on Newt’s Reagan bona fides.
But yesterday there was a talk radio backlash and Sarah Palin’s strategic intervention may even things out. Newt also picked up the backing of the Tea Party movement in Florida, while Romney pretty much has written them off.
Turn out and enthusiasm could be the difference.
So stop, children, no one really knows what or who is going down on Tuesday.