Newt by 30 Points in Florida

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 30 2011 2:26 PM

Newt by 30 Points in Florida

Public Policy Polling gives Gingrich a commanding lead in the sunshine state. It's as if he's a human sponge, soaking up the gooey stains left by all the exploded would-be anti-Romneys. The poll, with trends from late September:

Newt Gingrich - 47% (+37)
Mitt Romney - 15% (-13)
Herman Cain - 15% (+8)
Michele Bachmann - 8% (-2)
Ron Paul - 5% (-3)
Jon Huntsman - 3% (+0)
Rick Perry - 2% (-22)
Rick Santorum - 1% (-1)
Gary Johnson - 1% (+0)
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The turnaround in Gingrich's favorable numbers is just as amazing as the topline number. Now he's got a 72 percent favorable rating among Republicans. In June, when Gingrich bungled his entry into the race, it was 46 percent. Among Tea Party voters, the man who once favored a health care mandate for people making more than $50,000, the man who endorsed Dede Scozzafava in New York, is at 77 percent. Fifty-seven percent agree with him on immigration, and when favorables are this good, a lot of voters are inclined to like whatever the candidate offers.

And then there's this:

[I]f something does cause Newt's support to collapse? The next Republican in line is...Mitt Romney. 37% of Gingrich's supporters in Florida say Romney is their second choice to 17% for Cain and 11% for Perry. And 28% of Gingrich's supporters in Montana say Romney is their second choice to 23% for Cain and 10% for Bachmann.

It makes perfect sense! Romney is the ultimate anti-Romney.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.