Most of the Florida polls I’ve seen for the past few weeks had Mitt Romney with a comfortable 20 or more point lead over Newt Gingrich. The recent poll average showed Newt narrowing the gap but still trailing. But today Rasmussen comes along with this whopper:
Less than two weeks ago, Mitt Romney had a 22-point lead in Florida, but that’s ancient history in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Following his big win in South Carolina on Saturday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich now is on top in Florida by nine.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Republican Primary Voters, taken Sunday evening, finds Gingrich earning 41% of the vote with Romney in second at 32%. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum runs third with 11%, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul attracts support from eight percent (8%). Nine percent (9%) remain undecided.
The Florida primary is a week from today. Tomorrow Romney releases his 2010 tax return as well as his 2011 estimate, and I suggest the latter shows a monster charitable donation to Dreams for Seniors or something similar.
How bad do things have to get for Romney before he has to start thinking about the unthinkable — which is a complete and total mea culpa for Romneycare? It’s not often that the “nuclear option” involves dropping the political versions of Fat Man and Little Boy on yourself, but if the trend doesn’t start going back in Romney’s direction it’s something he’ll have to consider — especially if he loses Florida.
At that point, of course, we’d accuse him of being insincere and flip-flopping again, but it could be his only hope.