GOP Presidential Power Rankings

We’re coming down to the final days before Republicans in Florida, at least those that didn’t vote early, head to the polls. As you can see below, the numbers provided by Real Clear Politics show that Gingrich has an advantage, but much can change in a short time.

Poll Gingrich Romney Santorum Paul
Insider Advantage (1/25) 32% 40% 8% 9%
CNN/Time (1/22-1/24) 34% 36% 11% 9%
Florida Chamber (1/22-1/23) 33% 33% 10% 6%
Public Policy Polling (1/22-1/23) 38% 33% 13% 10%
Rasmussen Reports (1/22) 41% 32% 11% 8%
Insider Advantage (1/22) 34% 26% 11% 13%
Qunnipiac (1/19-1/23) 34% 36% 13% 10%

For example, in the last CNN/Time poll, conducted in mid-January, Gingrich was only at 18%. He’s now at 34%. That’s a 16 point swing. He’s up 12 points from the last survey from Public Policy Polling. And as I noted on Monday, we’ve seen a similar swing in his numbers from Rasmussen.

That’s great news for Gingrich in the primary, but general election numbers are entirely different. The latest poll from Suffolk University shows that Romney leads Barack Obama by 5 points in Florida, while Gingrich trails by 9 points.

Gingrich is also underwater in his favorability numbers in Florida. Only 29% have a favorable view of him, while a stunning 58% have an unfavorable view. Romney, on the other hand, is at 44/37. All of this plays well to Romney’s electability argument, but it seems that this point is falling on deaf ears.

Upcoming Primaries

  • 1/3: Iowa (results)
  • 1/10: New Hampshire (results)
  • 1/24: South Carolina (results)
  • 1/31: Florida
  • 2/4: Nevada and Maine (caucus will last 2/4-11)
  • 2/7: Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri
  • 2/28: Arizona and Michigan

The Rankings

Newt Gingrich (): There is no denying that Gingrich has momentum in his corner headed into Tuesday’s contest. But as he and his campaign knows, they shouldn’t become too over-confident or cocky because momentum can shift back to Romney at any moment. As much as I dislike Gingrich, you have to give him credit for taking on the media otherwise offering red meat to conservatives; something Romney has neglected to do.  Delegates Won: 27

Mitt Romney (): While there have been flashes of a good campaign, Romney has conservatives no real reason to support him. He is, as John Adams would say, “suspected and disliked.” Romney has been able to position himself as an advocate of free enterprise thanks to Gingrich’s attacks on his time in the private sector. But conservatives have rejected the notion — as seen in part by their support of Gingrich — that Romney had the nomination all but locked up. Delegates Won: 17

Ron Paul (even): Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign manager, has explained that they would largely bypass Florida’s primary due to delegates being slashed as a result of RNC penalities and will instead focus on caucus states like Nevada, Minnesota, and Louisiana where grassroots and a  ground game mean more. He may do well in those states, but his nomination remains a long shot. However, Paul and his supporters influence on the party will remain. Delegates Won: 6

Rick Santorum (): In case you haven’t heard, it turns out that Santorum won Iowa. The bad news is that much of the attention after the caucus went to Romney. Santorum’s bump from his showing there was short-lived, and he has since drifted back to Earth. It looks as though Santorum will refocus his efforts elsewhere as Florida is a fight between Gingrich and Romney. Delegates Won: 9

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