As Republicans in Florida prepare to go to the polls to vote for the man they want to take on President Barack Obama in November, the state is awash with opinion polls.
The order is the same in all of them: Mitt Romney leads with Newt Gingrich in second, Rick Santorum third and Ron Paul either tied with Santorum or narrowly trailing – but the margins show a wide range of difference.
Six polls were taken among likely primary voters in the Sunshine State over the weekend. Romney’s margin of victory over Gingrich was widest in a Suffolk University survey, which gave him a 20 percentage point lead. His worst showing comes in an InsiderAdvantage poll which puts the gap between Romney and former House Speaker Gingrich at 5 points.
In the others, Romney led by 16 points according to Rasmussen Reports; 15 points, according to SurveyUSA; 14 points, in the poll by Quinnipiac University; and 7 points, in the poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP).
While Romney’s approval rating varied between 36 and 47 percent, Gingrich’s high was the 32 percent he got from PPP, while his low was 26 percent from SurveyUSA.
Santorum’s likely share of the vote hardly shifted. Four polls put him at 12 percent while PPP had him at 14 and Quinnipiac at 11. Paul had two 12 percents, two 11s, a 10 and a 9.
So what does it all mean? According to RealClearPolitics, which keeps a five-day rolling average of all polls, Romney will end up in Florida with 41.6 percent; with Gingrich with 29.1; Santorum with 12.8 and Paul with 10.1.
The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog, which also keeps a rolling tally, comes up with a similar figure. predicting a 13 point win for Romney.
That is unless more polls come out on Tuesday.
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