Suffolk University/WSVN Poll: Romney crushes GOP contenders, Beats Obama in Florida

Former Gov. Mitt Romney is the early front-runner in Florida’s Republican presidential primary, and he was the only Republican challenger who led President Barack Obama in a general election match-up there (43 percent to 42 percent), according to a Suffolk University/7NEWS (WSVN-Miami) poll of registered voters in Florida.

Republican voters said their top choice for a nominee was Romney (33 percent), followed by Mike Huckabee (14 percent), Newt Gingrich (9 percent), Donald Trump (8 percent) and Sarah Palin (8 percent), with 17 percent undecided.

Thinking about the 2012 Republican Primary for President of the United  States, if the candidates were (RANDOMIZE), for whom will you vote or toward whom would you LEAN at this time?

Mitt Romney 33%
Mike Huckabee 13%
Newt Gingrich 9%
Sarah Palin 8%
Donald Trump 8%
Haley Barbour 4%
Tim Pawlenty 3%
Ron Paul 2%
Michele Bachmann 1%

Head-to-head (Obama/Candidate/Undecided)

Mitt Romney 42/43/10 (+1)
Mike Huckabee 44/41/11 (-3)
Newt Gingrich 47/36/13 (-11)
Tim Pawlenty 41/28/25 (-13)
Michele Bachman 45/30/19 (-15)
Donald Trump 49/34/12 (-15)
Sarah Palin 52/34/10 (-18)
Ron Paul 48/30/18 (-18)
Haley Barbour 47/26/22 (-21)

The statewide survey of 600 Florida registered voters was conducted April 10-12, 2011. The margin of error is +/-4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data will be posted at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2011, on the Suffolk University Political Research Center Web site.

The Full Story is HERE.
Marginals can be viewed HERE.
Crosstabs can be viewed HERE.

Sachs/Mason-Dixon Poll Florida: Mitt Romney Top GOP, Obama loses to Romney and Huckabee

The poll, which was conducted April 4 through April 7 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, also found Governor Romney leading with 23 percent supportamong a sample size of 400 likely Republican primary voters. In what seems to be developing into a crowded Republican primary field, 13 candidates were included in the poll, including Governor Mike Huckabee, real estate magnate Donald Trump, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Governor Tim Pawlenty and others.

QUESTION: If the 2012 Republican primary were held today, which one of the following candidates would get your vote? (ORDER ROTATED)

Mitt Romney 23%
Mike Huckabee 18%
Donald Trump 13%
Newt Gingrich 11%
Tim Pawlenty 8%
Sarah Palin 5%
Mitch Daniels 4%
Ron Paul 3%
Michelle Bachman 1%
Rick Santorum 1%
Haley Barbour -
Undecided 13%

Head-to-Head: (Candidate/Obama/Undecided)

Mitt Romney 48/43/9 (+5)
Mike Huckabee 49/44/7 (+5)
Donald Trump 40/48/12 (-8)
Sarah Palin 39/51/10 (-12)

The poll, which was conducted April 4 through April 7 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, also found Governor Romney leading with 23 percent support among a sample size of 400 likely Republican primary voters. A margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Crosstabs may be viewed HERE.


Romney Flexing

Romney Begins the Exploratory Flex April 2011 (Photo by Michael Fagans / The Californian)

For Romneyiacs like me this is the biggest news of the year - news we’ve waited to hear for over 3 years now. It seems an official campaign for Romney to seek the presidency is kicking into gear… and sooner than I thought. I had been guessing/suspecting that an exploratory committee would be formed in early May.

Reports from the Wall Street Journal say that during a meeting with 100 fundraisers that Romney mentioned early April as the time he’s likely to launch an exploratory committee. (An exploratory committee is not a full campaign but would allow Romney to legally raise funds towards a presidential run.)

From WSJ:

About 100 fund-raisers gathered at Manhattan’s venerated Harvard Club this morning to hear former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lay out his ambition: Raise $50 million fast.

One Romney fundraiser said the $50 million figure was what the governor wanted to show by early summer, at the time of the first financial filing deadline of what is likely to be his official presidential campaign.
“Our fundraising will be a knockout blow to anyone who is squeamish,” said one Romney fundraiser, speaking of potential Republican challengers still flirting with a race by early summer. Mr. Romney’s money machine raised a little more than $60 million in the primary campaign of 2008, according to finance records.

Mr. Romney told the crowd this morning that he is likely to announce his presidential exploratory committee in early April, an announcement that would kick fund-raising into high gear. A 15-city fundraising tour that began Tuesday in Washington is now expected to reach at least 30 cities.
As he did at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington Tuesday, the former governor told bundlers…that the primary season will be brutal. His strategy is to win two or three of the first states, with polling numbers already looking good in New Hampshire, where he has a lake house, and Nevada, where the Mormon vote is strong.

Jayde reported yesterday on a meeting that Romney had with fundraisers on Tuesday in Washington. There are two bits below (also from WSJ) I want to throw out again because they outline what appears to be the strategy of the campaign at this time:

Mr. Romney said he needed to do well in the New Hampshire and Florida primaries and Nevada’s caucuses, while emerging from those early states with enough money to convince undecided voters that he would have the financial firepower to get to the finish line.
Romney fund-raisers are set to converge on Las Vegas on May 16 for a final push ahead of the first financial filing deadline. The Las Vegas meeting will include a marathon phone-a-thon to reach donors, according to one fund-raiser involved in the plan.

Points I gather, though they are not confirmed:

Romney in Florida: Meets with Top Supporters, Receives Key Endorsement - Romney’s PAC Donates to 45 Republicans

News from Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC:

Today, the PAC sent out yet another wave of contributions to 45 Republicans in Congress who received a total of $93,000 in donations.

These contributions come on top of the $208,000 that Romney’s PAC has delivered to 90 U.S. Senate and House Republicans since the start of 2011, bringing year-to-date donations to federal candidates to more than $300,000.

“There are many important issues facing Congress and the nation. By showing our support for Republican candidates who are fighting for conservative principles in Washington, we hope to influence the national debate on jobs, taxes, the economy and the budget,” said Romney.

(my emphasis)
To view the long list of contribution recipients, click here.


Florida News

Governor Mitt Romney greets supporters in Florida. March 10, 2022

● Although Romney’s meeting with Florida Governor Rick Scott (which was to be held in Tallahassee yesterday) was canceled due to foggy weather, his PAC donated $2,000 apiece to U.S. Reps Allen West, R-Plantation; Daniel Webster, R-Orlando; and Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, and Ander Crenshaw, R-Jacksonville.

● Romney makes Florida play with key fundraiser hire:

Mitt Romney has hired a Florida fundraiser and is making a push to meet with top donors and officials in the Sunshine State this week.

On Wednesday, Romney and finance officials from his Free and Strong America political action committee huddled with major donors at a meeting in the Fort Lauderdale area, and on Thursday they planned a similar meeting in St. Petersburg, as well as meetings in Tallahassee with newly elected Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos. The Tallahassee meetings were canceled because of weather.
The St. Petersburg Times reported that Thursday’s donor reception was set to be hosted by Mel Sembler, a top GOP donor who was among nine national finance chairmen for Romney’s 2008 presidential exploratory committee. Sembler, a coveted bundler, told the Times this week, “At this point, I’m still supporting” Romney.

Wednesday’s reception outside Fort Lauderdale was to be hosted by heart surgeon Zachariah Zachariah, a prominent bundler for former President George W. Bush[...]

Fehrnstrom said the Fort Lauderdale meeting wasn’t a fundraiser per se but added that “people usually end up writing checks to the Free and Strong America PAC.”

● Florida State Senator says he’ll endorse Romney:

State Senator John Thrasher, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, says he’s ready to throw his support to Romney if the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate makes another run for the White House, as expected.

“If Governor Romney decides to run for President in 2012, I will absolutely be supporting him and helping him in Florida,” Thrasher said in an email to the Florida Times-Union. “He would be a great GOP nominee.”

Last June Romney traveled to Florida to endorse Thrasher in person for his 2010 re-election bid to the state senate.

(my emphasis)

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Talks Jobs in Atlanta, Supports GOP Efforts to Cut Spending, Hires New Communications Advisor

What was Mitt Romney doing in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday?

A whole lot of listening and a little talking.

Romney met privately with business leaders to discuss jobs and the economy. Though Romney hasn’t announced his intentions to run for president, he presumably was also strengthening his fundraising network. During the last presidential race, he came in 3rd place in the GA presidential primary with 30% of the vote.

Romney made another important stop in Atlanta and tweeted about it:

Mitt Romney: Just got a Trim at Tommy’s in Atlanta

Unbeknownst to the Gov, his tweet dispelled a brief false notion bandied about in Twitterville a few weeks ago that he spends hundreds of dollars on John Edwards-like haircuts. (We know that isn’t true - he’s Mr. Frugal!)

Politico 3/2/11

Mitt Romney stopped by Tommy Thomas’s barber shop in Atlanta on Tuesday for a trim.
Thomas charges $16 for a trim, but he offered to give Romney a cut for free — but the well-coiffed former governor refused and gave Thomas a $20 bill, telling him to keep the change.

Romney tweeted this picture of himself on Tuesday in Atlanta and said: “Brave Tommy, taming the beast with clippers and a comb.”

“He’s got a nice head of hair. He’s got the hair, he’s got the looks, got the whole package,” Thomas told POLITICO.

“We talked about just what’s going on in the economy and things like that,” he added. “Then we cut up about the weather.”

Romney’s unexpected stop lasted about 15 minutes, and he took pictures and talked politics with all of Thomas’s patrons.

(my emphasis)
Good job, Tommy! Looks like the ‘beast’ got a proper shearing…


Sam Olens, Georgia’s Attorney General, tweeted this today:

samolens: I had a great time at lunch today with our next President, Mitt Romney.

An interesting note… Olens won his election last November, but he had to break through one of the oldest barriers in Georgia politics to do so. He was the first Jewish candidate to win a statewide, partisan race in Georgia. Congratulations to Sam Olens! (Mitt endorsed Olens last fall.)

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Romney was busy yesterday!

We know the Gov is a master at cutting budget waste, staunchly advocates cutting government spending, and wants to stuff Uncle Sam’s credit card in the shredder. To put muscle behind supporting GOP efforts in Washington to cut spending, his Free and Strong America PAC contributed a walloping $83,500 to 40 U.S. Senate and House leaders.

Romney’s statement:

“It is important that we stand with our Republican Members of Congress and show that we support their pro-growth agenda and their efforts to reduce the size of government,” Romney said. “Now is the time for all of us to send a powerful message that Americans will no longer tolerate the Washington culture of higher taxes, higher spending, and higher debt.

To see the substantial list of those receiving donations, click here.

In addition, Romney donated $124,500 to 50 additional U.S. Senate and House Republicans in January. In just two months, his PAC’s total year-to-date generosity comes to over $200,000. Let’s keep up our support for Free and Strong America.

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News today points further to a presidential run for Gov Romney. He has hired a new Communications Director:

Andrea Saul, a veteran of political campaigns in the western US, is joining Mitt Romney’s political action committee as the Republican readies for a second presidential campaign.

In a statement today, Romney said Saul will serve as a communications adviser to the Free and Strong America PAC.

Review Saul’s substantial credentials here.

Eric Fehrnstrom has been Mitt’s right hand man in taking care of most of Romney’s communications in the past. According to the article, his focus will be more on helping Mitt develop advertising strategy and television commercials (another good Romney candidacy sign!).

Fehrnstrom tweet this morning:

Welcoming Andrea Saul to Romney PAC! Fun fact: Andrea first met Mitt when she was running surrogate ops for McCain-Palin.

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Looking ahead, Governor Romney will continue his listening tour in Florida and New Hampshire this Saturday.

► Jayde Wyatt

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