Mitt Romney Leading in Florida; Palin, Bachmann Battle for Second
PPP poll finds if Jeb Bush jumped in, he would be the favorite son of the Sunshine State
Around the State
A PPP poll back in March found Romney tied in Florida with a rival from the 2008 Republican primaries, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, with 18 percent each. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was right behind them with 15 percent.
Since then, Huckabee has announced that he is not running for president, Palin has remained on the sidelines and Gingrich has stumbled badly -- leaving Romney in the lead in Florida.
The new poll found Romney taking 27 percent. Palin garnered 17 percent, tying her for second with a surging dark horse -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Bachmann will be in Florida on Friday, speaking to pro-life activists in Jacksonville at the National Right-to-Life Committee’s annual convention. Businessman Herman Cain, a favorite of the tea party who will also speak at the event in Jacksonville, placed fourth with 10 percent. Gingrich dropped to fifth with 8 percent, followed by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who will also speak to the pro-life activists in Jacksonville, with 7 percent. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota took seventh with 6 percent while former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah, who announced his candidacy on Tuesday, lagged with 2 percent.
“Every poll we do now is cementing Mitt Romney’s front-runner status,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP. “The bigger story might be Bachmann’s rise after what was generally seen as a strong performance in last week’s debate.”
With Palin taken out of the mix, Bachmann comes closer to Romney but still places in second. In that scenario, Romney tops the poll with 29 percent followed by the feisty Minnesota congresswoman who took 22 percent. Cain garners 14 percent followed by Gingrich with 10 percent and Paul with 8 percent. Pawlenty stands at 6 percent while Huntsman remains with 2 percent.
The PPP poll found that, if he ran in 2012, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would be the favorite son of the Sunshine State. Bush topped the poll with 27 percent followed by Romney at 17 percent. Palin came in third with 14 percent while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took 12 percent, tying him for fourth with Bachmann. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani placed sixth with 6 percent while U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin garnered 4 percent. Pawlenty trailed with 2 percent.
Bush has slammed the door on running in 2012 as has Christie. Ryan has shown little interest while Giuliani, who flopped when he ran for the Republican nomination in 2008, has left the door open to running in 2012.
The PPP poll of 377 usual Republican primary voters in Florida was taken between June 16-19. It had a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percent.
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