Newt Gingrich Takes Lead Over Romney in Florida

Mitt Romney had a 22-point lead in Florida two weeks ago, but it has evaporated following South Carolina's primary and Gingrich has surged ahead, Rasmussen reports:

Romney_gingrichThe latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Republican Primary Voters, taken Sunday evening, finds Gingrich earning 41% of the vote with Romney in second at 32%. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum runs third with 11%, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul attracts support from eight percent (8%). Nine percent (9%) remain undecided.(To see survey question wording, click here).

Florida allows early voting, and Romney leads among those voters by 11 points. Gingrich leads by 12 among those who have not yet voted. Fourteen percent (14%) have already cast their vote.

One-in-three (32%) say they still could change their minds before they vote in the January 31 primary. Another nine percent (9%) have no initial preference yet. Fifty-nine percent (59%) are already certain of their vote, including 73% of Romney supporters and 62% of Gingrich voters.

Romney ripped Gingrich in a speech on Sunday in Ormond Beach, Florida:

“Speaker Gingrich has also been a leader,. He was a leader for four years as speaker of the House. And at the end of four years, it was proven that he was a failed leader and he had to resign in disgrace. I don’t know whether you knew that, he actually resigned after four years, in disgrace. He was investigated over an ethics panel and had to make a payment associated with that and then his fellow Republicans, 88 percent of his Republicans voted to reprimand Speaker Gingrich. He has not had a record of successful leadership.”

There's yet another debate tonight at 9 pm.