If you haven’t been polled Florida, you don’t have a phone:
– According to a Quinnipiac University survey released this morning:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a 43 – 29 percent lead over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich among Republican likely voters in Florida, the nation’s first big-state presidential primary…. This compares to a 38 – 29 percent Romney lead in a January 27 survey.
— An NBC/Marist survey also shows Mitt Romney with a 15-percentage point lead over Newt Gingrich.
—Public Policy Polling of North Carolina shows a somewhat closer contest:
PPP’s second day of tracking in Florida finds little change in the state of the race. Mitt Romney leads with 39% to 32% for Newt Gingrich with Rick Santorum at 14% and Ron Paul at 11%. Romney and Santorum are both down a single point from Saturday’s polling while Paul has gained 2 points and Gingrich has stayed in place.
— The survey showing the tightest race comes from Newsmax and InsiderAdvantage of Atlanta, which has Mitt Romney ahead of Gingrich, 36 to 31 percent.
One reason for the above results: Mitt Romney has outspent Newt Gingrich in Florida by nearly five-to-one. From Politico.com:
Through Friday, the Romney campaign and the super PAC Restore Our Future had spent a combined $15,340,000…. Gingrich’s campaign and the super PAC Winning Our Future spent a comparatively paltry $3,390,000.
The Daily Caller says it has a strategy memo that’s being passed around by the Newt Gingrich camp, laying out the reasons a Tuesday victory by Romney won’t end the contest. Georgia figures heavily in the calculations:
[T]he memo stresses that the proportional nature of the upcoming contests “essentially guarantees that no candidate will secure the nomination anytime soon and the map quickly becomes more favorable for Gingrich.”
More than 20 percent of the available delegates (467) will be awarded on Super Tuesday, and the memo notes that, one of the Super Tuesday states is Georgia, with 76 delegates at stake. To put that in perspective, “even if Romney wins Florida on Tuesday, he will only have 83 total delegates; Newt’s home state could effectively cancel out his entire delegate count to date.”
It’s no secret that cuts in defense spending could affect production at Lockheed Martin’s plant in Marietta. From the Washington Post:
Defense contractors Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Raytheon spent a combined $33.4 million on lobbying in Washington last year, a 10 percent increase from 2010, as Congress and the Obama administration weighed cuts in the Pentagon budget.
A review of lobbying disclosures filed with the Senate by a Jan. 20 deadline showed that Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense company, led such spending last year with $15 million for lobbying, a 19 percent increase.
The Rome News Tribune this morning reports that a Republican in the state Senate has picked up primary opposition:
Bill Carruth, a Paulding County resident who sits on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources board, announced last week he’ll seek the Republican nomination for State Senate District 31.
The seat, currently held by Republican Bill Heath of Bremen, covers Polk, Haralson and most of Paulding County.
Carruth was a member of the Paulding County Commission from 1991-1996 and was the first Republican elected to chair the board, from 1997-2000.
Over the weekend, Walter Jones of Morris News Service gave a bleak update of former Gov. Sonny Perdue’s “Go Fish Georgia” project:
Gov. Nathan Deal’s spending recommendations don’t call for major cuts to the only ongoing expense, the education center. But legislators have only just begun considering the budget, and it’s too early to tell if they’re inclined to throw this fish back.
The 30,000-square-foot Go Fish Education Center in Perry was supposed to attract 100,000 visitors annually and generate a $6.3 million economic impact for Houston County, south of Macon….
Figures obtained by Morris News Service from the Department of Natural Resources show that in 14 months of operation, the education center has had just 15,301 visitors, and only 2,613 participated in its education programs.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider