Your morning jolt: Four Florida polls put Mitt Romney in driver’s seat

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

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38 comments Add your comment

ByteMe

January 30th, 2012
9:27 am

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….

No wonder Republicans distrust government. They repeatedly elect people who are really incompetent at doing anything other than cooking up numbers to support their pet projects.

Cutty

January 30th, 2012
9:38 am

Houston, we have a problem!

Jd

January 30th, 2012
9:40 am

So, why don’t the R’s use Zero-based budgeting principles to close the center?

Jimmy The Cricket

January 30th, 2012
9:45 am

Go Newt… Let the TeaPublicans know what a mistake they’ve made in allowing some of the states to have proportional allocation of delegates…
Hold Romney’s feet to the fire until well after Super Tuesday and give the Republican party a swift kick in the a$$ so the Democrats can buy more popcorn and watch the TeaPublicans FIGHT TO THE FINISH. YE HAW!!!

Centrist

January 30th, 2012
9:52 am

I’m visiting in Florida and the TV ads here are atrociously negative. There is even one running constantly attacking Romney and it is paid by the Democratic American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union. Such Democrat gamesmanship is likley meant to extend the Republican mud fight to help Obama. Gingrich is getting plenty of help from his Super Pac with ugly negative ads.. From the looks of the polls, both his ads and scorched earth negative comments are once again backfiring. I guess that stuff works better in South Carolina.

Hyper Newswriters

January 30th, 2012
9:56 am

Why are all these press folks so eager to declare a winner with every primary? Its like this whole thing was a wrap after SC and now all you hear is Romney will lock it up with a FL win. Then what will the media do? Same thing all over again. Start hyping up another state as the “closer” for whoever has the momentum at that nanosecond.

Bootnewt

January 30th, 2012
10:00 am

Once the fiscally wasteful reservoirs are dug, probably by firms lobbying our Gub’nor for contracts, I expect to see fmr. Governor Sonny dipping his hook in them.

Beeg Boi

January 30th, 2012
10:05 am

Got any threes……..go fish

George Hills

January 30th, 2012
10:09 am

However, many voters in Georgia know Mr. Gingrich too well. His record of backstabbing & underhanded double-dealing means those votes might walk. Only part of Reagan legacy he wants is voters have Alzheimer’s on Super Tuesday.

td

January 30th, 2012
10:10 am

Whoever win the Republican nomination needs to make this man the VP. He is a Real American conservative hero.

Allen West Tells Liberal Leaders To “Get The Hell Out Of The USA”

“Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America,” Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said at the Palm Beach County Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner. West represents the district in the U.S. Congress.

Look before I leap...

January 30th, 2012
10:13 am

While Gingrich enjoys “native son” status here in GA, even though he has not lived here in over a decade, he is ignoring the fact that the impact of his GA delegate count will be more than halved by the 49 delegates in VA he will not get since he is not on the ballot there (where he actually lives)

jconservative

January 30th, 2012
10:13 am

“…Newt’s home state could effectively cancel out his entire delegate count to date.””

OK. But also on Super Tuesday Virginia votes and has 46 delegates up for a winner take all. And as we all know Newt is not on the Virginia ballot due to incompetence.

And before Super Tuesday we have the following:

Nevada Feb 4…. …28 delegates – - – - Proportional Caucus1 ……….Closed
Maine Feb 4 ………24 delegates – - – - Non-Binding Caucus ………..Closed
Minnesota Feb 7… 40 delegates – - – - Non-Binding Caucus……. …Open
Colorado Feb 7….. 36 delegates – - – - Non-Binding Caucus….. ….Closed
Michigan Feb 28… 30* delegates – - – -Hybrid Primary2 ……………Closed
Arizona Feb 28….. 29 delegates – - – - -Winner Take All Primary… Closed

Four caucus and two primary states with a total 187 delegates. Does anyone see any way for Newt to win any of these states? Romney could be way ahead come Super Tuesday.

Newt will still be in the race. He is no longer running for president. He is running to defeat Romney.
Personal grudge. Newt is famous for holding personal grudges.

Random Reader

January 30th, 2012
10:17 am

Allen West is a over the top smack talking blowhard!! I served with him and know him on a personal level…The persona is made up and this man can not be trusted anyomore than we can trust Martin Sheen to be effective in the “West Wing”…

double

January 30th, 2012
10:25 am

Go fish is another failure,like the ethanol project.

UGA 1999

January 30th, 2012
10:37 am

Surprise surprise….Romney leading Florida. I think anyone could have picked that one.

Centrist

January 30th, 2012
10:43 am

Super Tuesday is not going to be kind to Gingrich – he will simply fall FURTHER behind in the delegate count even after likely winning GA:

Alaska (caucus)
Georgia (primary)
Idaho (caucus)
Massachusetts (primary)
North Dakota (caucus)
Ohio (primary)
Oklahoma (primary)
Tennessee (primary)
Vermont (primary)
Virginia (primary)

Eric

January 30th, 2012
10:43 am

@jconservative & in general

You forgot to mention Newt is not on the ballot in states totaling 562 delegates (yes, due to incompetence and lack of support), but I wouldn’t count on Romney being the one to snatch most of those up. In a 2 man race between Romney and Paul, I’d say people would be leaning more towards the only REAL conservative candidate with an actual PLAN to cut spending ($1 trillion in the first year), that man being Ron Paul.

Let’s take just one issue as an example, taxes. Romney has been heard in debates saying he’ll TRY to enforce a 25% maximum on income tax (’because anything more than 25 is unreasonable’), and has proposed no flat tax or assurance that he’s going to get Americans away from unconstitutional taxation whatsoever. Ron Paul proposes a flat tax of 15% for all americans, not just Elites like Romney, and eventually cutting government waste and spending to the point where taxpayers are no longer paying the national debt or for other countries’ national debt, or nation building, etc, and the income tax can then be abolished. “How about 0%, what’s so bad about that?”

That’s just 1 issue where Ron Paul’s plan is superior to Romney’s making him the obvious candidate of choice for anyone who wants to see the economy turn around, jobs created (by free markets, not by the president), health care improved, and the US’s world public opinion improved when we get out of all of these unlawful wars, and stop being the policemen of the world.

I wouldn’t say Newt’s is a personal grudge, he’s in the race to keep the spotlight off of Ron Paul, and to pander away to his supporters to draw them back to the mainstream republican candidacy. Gingrich doesn’t have a chance at the nomination, but he has plenty of backers (casino moguls and the like), who don’t want to see Ron Paul overtake the establishment candidate Mitt Romney. Gingrich has been a nobody from the beginning, it took some seriously scripted debate responses and a huge media push before the SC primary to get him where he is.

It should be obvious to just about anyone, that Newt says what will provoke the most applause, and the most support for his candidacy. He proposes BIG, GRANDIOSE, ‘thought-provoking’ ideas that he probably wouldn’t remember the next morning if the news weren’t pulling for him and trying to sell his absurd proposals and make him look “revolutionary”.

I hate to beat a dead horse here, but if you want sound money that gives you your purchasing power back, you want the government small and out of our personal lives, and you want the national debt to go away and not be the ball and chain of future generations, you have absolutely no choice but to vote for Ron Paul.

UGA 1999

January 30th, 2012
10:45 am

yellowdog.

January 30th, 2012
10:47 am

looks like anyone can buy their way into the white house…….15 million, etc. and gingrich’s billionaire patron; what the h—! they are out of control; doesnt mean I dont think democrats can make some adjustments, and lest we forget the enabling of the supreme court…….who of us citizens has a chance for legitimate representation.

Frederick Douglass

January 30th, 2012
10:47 am

Random Reader @ 10:17

Most people can see through the hype on guys like Allen West, especially if they’ve served in the military. The military is peppered with these gung ho take no prisoner types, they all seem bent on re-creating Iwo Jima, Pork Chop Hill, or some John Wayne role with themselves as the star. It’s sad that the tds of America keep falling for that crap.

ylojkt

January 30th, 2012
10:57 am

Well said, Eric! Go Ron Paul, the only hope for the future of our great country!

UGA 1999

January 30th, 2012
10:58 am

ylojkt…..you guys do know that Ron Paul has virtually no shot at winning this, right? I like the guy but he has no chance.

ladyfarmer

January 30th, 2012
11:08 am

I have lots of doubts about R and N , but when I ask myself who would be the best for the country, first, lower taxes, more jobs, securing the country, less gov. I look at what R has done, He’s a bg money man. I don’t think he cares about the poor people,The farmer. Health care is a biggy. Will R do away with Oboma care, His plan is the same. If Oboma care is not stopped, this country will go under, There will be no health care, I ask people to look carefully at what these two stand for and what they will do, I can’t see that R is going to change anythig, Also look at who’s backing R.

UGA 1999

January 30th, 2012
11:10 am

ladyfarmer…..look at R’s track record of success. I believe he will repeal Obamacare and propose a more effiicient Healthcare program.

Random Reader

January 30th, 2012
11:28 am

UGA…You do understand that ” R” cannot just repeal anything….

Frederick Douglass

January 30th, 2012
11:28 am

Maybe R will repeal Obamacare then take parts of George W. Bush’s plan, couple it with Bush senior’s plan, then meld them with Reagan’s plan, then solidify it with Nixon’s and Ford’s plans……..Oh snap, they had no health care reform plans!

UGA 1999

January 30th, 2012
11:32 am

Random….I do, however he can bring it back up to the House and Senate. I believe that will be done.

UGA 1999

January 30th, 2012
11:32 am

Frederick……I forgot about Clinton’s plan.

Eric2

January 30th, 2012
11:36 am

Weird, after my first comment on any website about Ron Paul, my following comments, usually responses to someone who discounts Ron Paul’s candidacy, either don’t show up, or take A WHILE to show up, usually after emailing the website owner…

UGA 1999 I posted a response to you, buy it may never make it into the comments section… oh well!

UGA 1999

January 30th, 2012
11:39 am

Eric2…..Did you use curse words or a faulty link?

Eric2

January 30th, 2012
11:42 am

nope, I never post links, and I don’t swear (kinda discredits the message to use profanity). I don’t like being screened, especially when I type 5 paragraphs and forget to copy them to the clip board before posting.

Notice I used a different name in my second comment, I also used a different email address. Comment posted instantly, unlike my second comment as Eric… hrmmmm…

UGA 1999

January 30th, 2012
11:44 am

interesting.

Eric2

January 30th, 2012
11:46 am

Oh well, isn’t the first time it has happened, and won’t be the last. I emailed the website using their suggestion form below. we’ll see where that gets me.

Jackson Baer

January 30th, 2012
12:31 pm

The USA Today/Gallup poll has Paul in a statistical tie with Obama. I think Ron Paul will take a solid 3rd in Florida and force Santorum out of the race. Paul was fantastic at the last debate showing his comedic side and came off as really likable. Imagine if we actually practiced the Golden Rule :)

RON PAUL 2012

http://www.whatthehellbook.com/the-book/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=262l6tbHSlU

Frederick Douglass

January 30th, 2012
1:32 pm

UGA 1999 @ 11:32

I was highlighting the republican’s plans, Clinton tried. Y’all called it Hillarycare remember?

Silvia Marquis

January 30th, 2012
2:34 pm

You got to be kidding ! I heard it before in the Kennedy – Nixon race but I am still shocked to hear ” I am voting for him because he is handsome” . Wake up lady ! If Mitt Romney looks like Barbie’s Ken that does NOT qualify Mitt Romney to be President of The United States. OMG how shallow …………..

Additionally pollster Towery said Gingrich is doing “substantially better” with men than Romney, 38 to 28, but the former House Speaker still faces a “gender gap,” as women are still favoring Romney.

Please Ladies think about this. Ken Oups ! I mean Mitt Romney was empty whole companies into his pockets putting working women and men into the streets. Then sent their jobs to China and Mexico. Mitt Romney was also raided retirement funds and put the money in his pockets also robbing women and men of security in their Golden Years. Mitt Romeny is receiving the working women and men sweat and blood at a rate of over $51,000 DOLLARS a DAY as income !!!!! Anything goes to make a dollar is NOT Capitalism. The drug dealer or corporate raider are both wrong. The business venture was three separate parameters is it moral, ethical, or legal. The drug dealer is immoral and illegal. Mitt Romney is immoral and unethical. Mitt Romney is not and NEVER was in business to create jobs. Mitt Romney wants to make money and any human cost incurred is inconsequential. That includes human cost to women who think Mitt Romney should be President because he is handsome or looks like Ken.

Ladies PLEASE reconsider !!!!!!!!!!!!! A lot is a stake here.

missmollie

January 30th, 2012
3:23 pm

Don’t let Herman Cain and Mike Reagin, both riding in at the eleventh hour on the coattail of Newt G
discolor your views…NG spent 40 years in D C and says he is not the establishment and is not an insider…You figure.

Mark

January 30th, 2012
3:24 pm

Newt Gingrich threatened Monday to skip any debate as the Republican nominee versus President Obama that’s moderated by a member of the media.

“As your nominee, I will not accept debates in the fall in which the reporters are the moderators,” Gingrich said at a rally in Pensacola. “We don’t need to have a second Obama person at the debate.”

I tell you this guy is a one man comedy show! He doesn’t have to worry about reporters handling the debates, because he won’t be the nominee.