Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney apparently has reversed a surge by Newt Gingrich to retake the momentum in the Florida primary, according to the latest InsiderAdvantage/Florida Times-Union poll.
The poll shows that Republicans most likely to vote in the state’s closed primary now favor Romney over Gingrich by 40 to 32 percent. Rep. Ron Paul has 9 percent, while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum has 8 percent.
Nine percent of those surveyed were undecided. The poll, which was conducted Wednesday night, was weighted for age, race, and gender and has a margin of error of plus and minus 4 percent.
The poll’s result also is supported by other polls conducted Wednesday and earlier this week. A CNN/Time/ORC International Poll also indicates that, although Gingrich surged following his 12-point victory in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, his momentum appears to be cooling off.
According to the poll, 36 percent of people likely to vote in the Republican primary Tuesday in the Sunshine State say they are backing Romney as the party’s nominee, with 34 percent supporting Gingrich.
On the New York Times influential FiveThirtyEight blog, political analyst Nate Silver wrote that “polling released within the past 24 hours suggests that Mitt Romney may have stopped and possibly reversed Newt Gingrich’s momentum before the Florida primary.
“The FiveThirtyEight forecast model still projects Mr. Gingrich as the slight favorite in Florida, giving him a 2-point lead and a 60 percent chance of victory. However, this lead is diminished considerably from two days ago, when the model saw a potential double-digit win for Mr. Gingrich as polls released immediately after the South Carolina primary had him surging in Florida.”
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