Mitt Romney has stopped the bleeding and Newt Gingrich appears to have lost some momentum from his South Carolina primary victory. Both men can take something from this latest poll to come out of the Sunshine state which shows the candidates tied at 35% each. Rick Santorum came in a distant third with 9% and Ron Paul scored 8% in the Dixie Strategies/First Coast News survey:
In the three days leading up to Thursday's debate at the University of North Florida, First Coast News and St. Augustine-based Dixie Strategies commissioned the Dixie Strategies/First Coast News Public Opinion Survey, a poll of Republicans throughout the state who described themselves as "likely" voters in the Jan. 31 primary.
When asked, "If the Republican Presidential Primary were held today, for whom would you vote?," 35.46 percent of the 2,567 likely voters polled selected former House speaker Gingrich, and 35.08 percent selected Romney.
The same question showed former senator Rick Santorum in a distant third place with 9.38 percent, followed by Ron Paul's 7.42 percent.
Nearly 4 percent of the respondents (3.93) chose "someone else," and 8.74 percent said they were undecided.
Digging deeper, ex-Massachusetts governor Romney had the highest percentage of voters with a "very positive" opinion of him, with 29.06 percent compared to Gingrich's 27.64 percent.
Expanding the results to include "very positive" and "somewhat positive," Romney got 67.25 percent, to Gingrich's 56.25.
Both candidates scored well with certain age groups, income groups, and ethnic groups. Gingrich beat Romney with whites, Romney topped Newt with Hispanics. Romney outpolled Gingrich with women, Newt beat Romney with men.
There have been no polls since the debate which might alter the numbers slightly in favor of Romney. Santorum, who was seen as winning the Thursday night debate, might pull some support from Gingrich since Santorum was the second choice of Gingrich supporters.