In the first post-South Carolina primary poll, Newt Gingrich has surged ahead in Florida.
PPP's first post-South Carolina poll in Florida finds Newt Gingrich with a small lead. He's at 38% to 33% for Mitt Romney, 13% for Rick Santorum, and 10% for Ron Paul.
Gingrich has gained 12 points since a PPP poll conducted in Florida a week ago. Romney has dropped 8 points. Paul and Santorum have pretty much remained in place. Their favorability numbers show similar trendlines. Gingrich's has increased 8 points from +15 (51/36) to +23 (57/34). Meanwhile Romney's has declined 13 points from +44 (68/24) to +31 (61/30).
The good news for Gingrich: his voters are more committed, he is more ideologically in tune with the GOP electorate than Romney, and he is drawing out new voters.
Good news for Romney: Early voters favor him, he's more popular than Gingrich, and he is seen as having stronger morals.
I actually expected a little larger lead for Gingrich but coming up 12 points in a week is still a considerable accomplishment. The question is; did Romney stop the bleeding as a result of his strong attacks on Gingrich during the debate last night?
If not, those calls for Mitch Daniels, or some other Republican, to enter the race will increase substantially.