From prestigious California endorsements yesterday to strong polling results in Florida, Mitt Romney is making coast-to-coast news.
From The Golden State: Romney Racks Up Endorsements for 2012
Mitt Romney is solidifying his status as front-runner in the GOP presidential nomination race. On Thursday, he picked up the backing of a group of Californians[...]
That includes House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon and Rep. Mary Bono Mack of the state’s contingent in Washington. The group also comprises state Senate GOP Leader Bob Dutton, state Sens. Tony Strickland, Sharon Runner, Bob Huff, Sam Blakeslee and Mark Wyland; and Assemblymen Paul Cook and Jim Silva.
McKeon cited Romney’s strength on economic issues in his endorsement. “President Obama’s policies have failed California and the country,” McKeon said. “Mitt Romney has a proven record of job creation in both the private sector and as a governor.” McKeon also supported Romney in 2008.
Bob Dutton also added: “Mitt Romney knows how the economy works and he has the much-needed experience to lead the country out of the economic downturn.”
From The Sunshine State: Romney Leads the Way in Florida (PPP poll)
Mitt Romney has a double digit lead for the Republican Presidential nomination in Florida, further cementing his front runner status in the wake of Mike Huckabee’s exit from the race.
Romney is at 27% to 17% for Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, 10% for Herman Cain, 8% for Newt Gingrich, 7% for Ron Paul, 4% for Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Jon Huntsman.
Romney now has the outright lead in PPP’s most recent polls in all 5 of the key early Republican contests: in addition to the Florida advantage he’s up by 9 in South Carolina, 6 in Iowa, 15 in Nevada, and 23 in New Hampshire.
Romney’s Florida lead is built on a familiar formula. He’s not winning with the far right voters who constitute a plurality of the Republican electorate, but he’s at least staying competitive with them. Meanwhile he’s dominating the field with moderates (a 36-15 lead over Palin) and with voters who identify themselves as just ‘somewhat conservative’ (a 32-15 advantage over Bachmann.)
While Bachmann’s rising with Florida Republicans, Gingrich has tanked. On our last poll he was tied for the lead with Romney at 18%. Now he finds himself in 5th place and with less than half as much support at 8%. Beyond Gingrich other people who have to be seen as losers on this poll are Huntsman and Pawlenty. Huntsman’s 2% standing is consistent with how he’s polling with pretty much every group of voters except beltway journalists. And Pawlenty’s 4% in Florida matches his 4% in South Carolina- he doesn’t have any resonance yet with GOP voters in the south.
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► Jayde Wyatt