Gingrich tops in Florida, polls says

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ATLANTA -- Newt Gingrich is the current favorite in Florida’s Jan. 31 Republican presidential primary, picking up supporters who fled Herman Cain to claim 41 percent in a poll conducted Tuesday night for the Florida Times-Union.

Gingrich has as much support as the next four candidates combined in the telephone survey of 513 registered voters who say they’re likely to cast ballots in the primary. The poll, conducted by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research, has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Gingrich’s rise comes at the expense of Cain in light of claims by a Georgia woman that she had a 13-year affair with the married Cain. Although Cain denies the romance, it comes on the heels of allegations from multiple women who said he sexually molested them when he headed the staff of the National Restaurant Association, charges he also denies.

While Gingrich has been criticized for having affairs, too, none have surfaced recently. Some pundits have noted that the number and freshness of the accusations are what’s damaging Cain’s chances, especially when coupled with videos of gaffs he made when fielding foreign-policy questions.

The Times-Union poll was the first conducted in Florida since the woman claiming the affair broadcast her story on television. In it, Cain drops to third place with 13 percent, behind Mitt Romney’s 17. No other candidate is in double digits.

“I am totally shocked by these numbers,” said pollster Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage. “Newt Gingrich is winning nearly 50 percent of the independent vote, but more importantly, the Republican vote which makes up the vast majority of the Florida Republican primary.”

Cain holds just 12 percent of Republicans and only 3 percent of independents.

“I have not seen a lead this large, this late in a Republican presidential primary season since I have been polling,” said Towery, who notes that his firm has never missed identifying the winner in Florida’s statewide contests.

Gingrich’s skeleton’s may be the reason women voters remain his weakest demographic group. Yet, he still gets 33 percent of them to Romney’s 17. With males, Gingrich commands 50 percent to Romney’s 18.

Gingrich and Cain hail from Florida’s northern neighbor, Georgia, while Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts. Still, Romney has been at or near the top of national polls since the campaign for next year’s nomination began.

Many conservatives, though, have sought an alternative to Romney, causing the lead in many early states to rotate almost monthly between the other GOP candidates. Gingrich has benefitted from the unusual number of televised debates this year in which he generally performs well, owing to his experience as a one-time college history professor and former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Towery’s firm identified Gingrich Monday as the new leading candidate in Iowa and South Carolina while tied with Romney in New Hampshire. If the trends hold, Gingrich could be in position to sweep the first four contests, possibly gaining enough momentum to steamroller Romney or other contenders all the way to the nomination.

Towery served as Gingrich’s campaign chairman during his later years in Congress. Since establishing his polling outfit, Towery said he holds to professional standards of objectivity and notes that other surveys and election returns eventually mirror his results.

POLL PERCENTAGES

 Here are the standings in the Florida Republican primary according to a poll for the Florida Times-Union conducted by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research on Tuesday evening:

 Newt Gingrich 41

Mitt Romney 17

Herman Cain 13

Rick Perry 7

Ron Paul 4

Michele Bachmann 3

Rick Santorum 1

Other 3

No opinion 11

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rmwardsr
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rmwardsr 11/30/11 - 09:57 am
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Let's all get behind Herman

Let's all get behind Herman Cain and give him our support. Gingrich and Romney are just the "rich white men" who does not give a d---- about the average working class citizen.After all, that's what makes this country run every day. If it wasn't for someone doing the work there would not be a rich anybody.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 11/30/11 - 12:17 pm
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And likewise, if there

And likewise, if there wasn't a rich black. white or red man, there wouldn't be a business for the worker to work in. It takes both groups to make this country "work". It isn't either/or...it is both. Your mindset, rmwardsr, is the same one that elected Obama. Class warfare will destroy us all.

ispy4u
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ispy4u 11/30/11 - 12:46 pm
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What elected President Obama,

What elected President Obama, was people getting tired of the same stuff that's going on now. It didn't work then and it wont work now. He will be re-elected.

faithson
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faithson 11/30/11 - 01:12 pm
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I can understand support for

I can understand support for any of the RNC candidates except the 'Newt'. His record over the years is so self-serving how could the 'moral majority' crowd find him acceptable. Every time I see him with his 'Barbie' wife, I see a man who is all about 'Himself'. If 'moral' character is a primary consideration in choosing a President, this man is not to be considered.

Taylor B
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Taylor B 11/30/11 - 09:05 pm
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Anyone moving from Cain to

Anyone moving from Cain to Gingrich because of infidelity is a moron...

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/30/11 - 09:08 pm
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Taylor, I never claimed to be

Taylor, I never claimed to be the smartest. Heh. But really it got to be where everyday some woman was popping up saying Herman had left his cell phone or something at her house. I know what the problem is. He started wearing that pimp hat. Kind of reminds me of Iceberg Slim.

KSL
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KSL 11/30/11 - 09:48 pm
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Name me one president who at

Name me one president who at some point has not been unfaithful and provide the proof. America has serious problems that need to be solved. If the devil himself had suitable solutions, I would support him.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/30/11 - 09:52 pm
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KSL, Jimmy Carter said he

KSL, Jimmy Carter said he only lusted after women in his heart. Billy said that was BS, though, while downing a six-pack of Billy Beer.

KSL
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KSL 11/30/11 - 10:00 pm
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RM, I can tell you why he

RM, I can tell you why he only lusted after women in his heart, if that is so, from personal experience. Rosalyn wore the pants in that family. I saw that in action at my sister's and his third son's graduation from a private high school in Atlanta. My husband happened to know Jimmy through his oldest son and visited in their home when he and the son were rising seniors in high school. My sister's graduation from high school was 5 or 6 years later. Jimmy was speaking to both my husband and me after the graduation. Rosalyn showed up across the room and jingled the car keys at him, saying, "Come on Jimmy, It's time to go." He probably didn't have it in him to stray.

KSL
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KSL 11/30/11 - 10:03 pm
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And for clarity. Jeff and my

And for clarity. Jeff and my sister went to a private school in Atlanta. Jackie and middle son Chip attended Plains High School. It was an integration thing.

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 12/01/11 - 02:15 am
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I like Herman Cain but he

I like Herman Cain but he can't beat Obama. Not now. Too many skeletons coming to life and parading out of his closet.
The thing that gets me is after all these women coming forward you never know if there are more.
Not that I care because he's in politics but I think he's lying through his teeth about this one. The more he lies the worse it's going to get and I believe when he sees his numbers he's going to call it a day.

TK3
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TK3 12/01/11 - 08:31 am
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You can say that again;

You can say that again; "Gingrich’s skeleton’s may be the reason women voters remain his weakest demographic group." I note his many "skeleton's" are NOT mentioned in the article about him but Cain's is.

Anyone who would vote for either hasn't a lick of sense.
The only Repub that has any knowledge of the Constitution, foreign policy and economics, not to mention high morals, is Ron Paul. Course that is why the "Powers That Be" will never let him or anyone like him, win.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 12/01/11 - 08:46 am
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I would bet that many of

I would bet that many of those that find fault with Newt's personal life worship at the shrine of Jack Kennedy, the greatest womanizer of them all. His affairs have been well documented by those that were close to him including the secret service.

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