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If there is one thing we can say about the polling coming out in advance of tomorrow's Florida primary, it is that somebody is going to wind up having serious egg on their face tomorrow.

The range of the pre-election polling in the Sunshine State? Well, maybe it is tightening, and Newt Gingrich is back within the margin of error. Or maybe Mitt Romney is now staked to a 20 point advantage.

As has happened fairly often in this bizarre primary cycle, there is a poll out there on election eve to suit your favored meme, as you can tell from this list:

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Gingrich 28, Romney 27, Santorum 16, Paul 13

FLORIDA (Insider Advantage): Romney 36, Gingrich 31, Paul 12, Santorum 12

FLORIDA (NBC News/Marist): Romney 42, Gingrich 27, Santorum 16, Paul 11

FLORIDA (PPP Tracking): Romney 39, Gingrich 32, Santorum 14, Paul 11*

FLORIDA (Quinnipiac): Romney 43, Gingrich 29, Paul 11, Santorum 11

FLORIDA (Rasmussen): Romney 44, Gingrich 28, Santorum 12, Paul 10

FLORIDA (Suffolk University): Romney 47, Gingrich 27, Santorum 12, Paul 9

FLORIDA (SurveyUSA): Romney 41, Gingrich 26, Paul 12, Santorum 12

FLORIDA (We Ask America): Romney 44, Gingrich 25, Paul 10, Santorum 10

(*)--New tracking numbers will be released this evening.

The picture is no less muddy on the general election front, where it is either a dead heat between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, or a reasonably healthy lead for the president. And it is the House of Ras that is the one that's so bullish on the president!

NATIONAL (Gallup): Obama tied with Romney (48-48); Obama d. Paul (49-46); Obama d. Santorum (51-43); Obama d. Gingrich (53-41)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-41); Obama d. Gingrich (52-35)

FLORIDA (NBC News/Marist): Obama d. Romney (49-41); Obama d. Paul (50-36); Obama d. Santorum (50-35); Obama d. Gingrich (52-35)

FLORIDA (Mason Dixon): Romney d. Obama (48-44); Obama d. Gingrich (50-41); Obama d. Santorum (50-39)

Some final thoughts on Florida, and a look at the road ahead, after the jump.

Before we delve into the numbers, you gotta love the preemptive strike from a local Florida paper, who wanted to fire off an early warning as to why their poll might be right, even though everyone else had a different result:

In polling terminology, our poll is what’s called an outlier (for a set of numerical data, any value that is markedly smaller or larger than other values).

 However, there is one factor that works in our favor. The News-Press poll’s sample size (2,567 likely voters) is three to four times larger than that of other pollsters and thus our poll has a very small margin of error (1.93 percent) with a confidence level of 95 percent.

In other words, the confidence interval associated with the sample in our poll is such that 95 percent of the time results will be within 1.93 percent of the “true values.”  True values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every “likely” voter in the state.

Most pollsters don’t interview large sample sizes because of the time and cost involved. Therefore, they  have a larger margin of error, usually in the 4-5 percentage range.

In layman’s terms, the more people you talk to the less likely you’re going to be wrong.

Polling geeks can read, and enjoy, that little bit at their leisure.

Speaking of Florida polling, the Dixie Strategies/News-Press/FirstCoast News poll alluded to above (and ain't that a mouthful) isn't going to be the only one trying to explain away their data on Wednesday morning. With a range stretching from 5-20 points, it is evident that someone is going to be in error. While the final edition of the PPP tracking poll won't be out until a little later this evening, Tom Jensen did hint earlier today that Romney might be edging out towards double digits in their tracker, as well.

So, it seems inevitable now that Romney will win Florida. The only question now is the all-important question of margin. The "as expected", at this point, is probably around a dozen points. Anything less, and the win becomes underwhelming for Romney, which is unbelievable given where this race was a week ago. Such is the instantaneous nature of the expectations game in this cycle, it would seem.

What's more, there are small signs that Romney's rebound in Florida is not being replicated nationally. Our polling pals at PPP have been in the field in a couple of new states: Ohio and Missouri. Jensen tweeted today that Romney is not exactly rocking the house in those two states. Meanwhile, Romney is still languishing in the 20s in the Gallup tracker, where the margin with Gingrich has only tightened because some of Newt's supporters appear to have bled over to Santorum (who is up a handful of points over the past few days).

The bottom line--Florida may be done. The nomination fight, meanwhile, is most assuredly not over yet.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 06:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Gallup (11+ / 0-)

    That poll is nuts.  No way does Ron Paul get that close nationally.  

    Hence, I consider the whole thing crapola.

    Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine -8.00,-5.79

    by Miss Blue on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 06:13:04 PM PST

  •  Thanks for all your (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thousandwatts, RVKU, cany, Matt Z

    excellent posts, Steve.  You're "must read" material for me.  I am like a crackhead for crack when it comes to poll.s

  •  The Ras numbers between Rmoney and Obama are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    uncomfortably close. Getrich gets no love in the bigs, but check out how the Teabaggers really feel. Where's Mitt?
    and see Paul run...

    Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21

    by Thousandwatts on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 06:24:30 PM PST

  •  Excellent Post (5+ / 0-)

    Insider Advantage does seem to have a small trend for Gingrich but I don't think it's enough.  It's a shame.  I was really hoping that Gingrich would pull out Florida.  But the man is a total mess and his campaign is a hot mess.  Watching him is like watching Dr. Evil and rooting for Dr. Evil to succeed (in a Republican Presidential Primary).  He can't hold a lead for a god damn week!  Omg.  

    I am happy though to see Obama's numbers looking better against both candidates.  

    I think Gingrich will stay in this for the long haul.  What does he lose by doing so?  More people will buy his books and pay him to speak.  And the establishment has so turned on him and so attacked him, how will they have any clout to take him aside and tell him it's over?  

    Check out my new blog:

    by SoCalLiberal on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 06:37:42 PM PST

  •  Gingrich headed toward "decisive victory" in FL (10+ / 0-)

    So says Gingrich:

    A defiant Newt Gingrich closed a rally Monday night by predicting "a decisive victory tomorrow" and slamming his favorite targets: the news media, GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney,  President Barack Obama and Goldman Sachs.

    "All our friends the news media who are very excited and eager to end this race as early as possible," the former House speaker told a cheering crowd in a Orlando hotel, ahead of Florida's primary election on Tuesday. "They all want to know what’s going to happen after Florida, and I keep trying getting across to them: I am in this race where Ronald Reagan was in 1976," Mr. Gingrich said.  [...]

    Mr. Reagan lost the nomination in 1976 to incumbent President Gerald Ford, who lost the election that fall to the Democrat, Jimmy Carter.


  •  Romney will win tomorrow, by 13-15% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Newt will stay in, but only nominally. He might fight in some state, but February's calendar heavily favors Romney, so I'm not sure how he'd decide where to go. Not Maine. But maybe Nevada (but Mormons!), maybe Arizona (but Newt's "weak" on immigration!, maybe Michigan (Mitt's home state!), Colorado (too small to matter). Who knows/cares.

    Romney wins save a very big February scandal, political or personal.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 08:15:23 PM PST

  •  Oh... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, cany, IM, Matt Z, nimh, Losty

    ...Romney and Friends of Romney had to spend $13,800,000 in Florida on ads! Almost 14 million dollars! In a primary where half the delegates got stripped!

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 08:18:07 PM PST

  •  Who supports R-money? Nobody I know! (6+ / 0-)

    I know people who like Ron Paul and are really fired up by him.

    NOBODY I know likes R-money, not even the staunchest Republicans.

    And I can't understand R-money's appeal at all.  The GOP establishment has insisted for years that Massachusetts isn't part of real America like Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama are.  Massachusetts is supposed to be a corrupt and lawless state where married gay couples lynch heterosexuals, every street corner has a drive-thru abortion clinic, and everybody has wild, orgasmic sex in the middle of the street.

    The GOP spent 2004 telling us that being a Massachusetts flip-flopper is the ultimate disqualification.  R-money was for abortion rights before he was against it and for ObamaCare before he was against it.  Everybody knows that R-money doesn't give a hoot about any issue other than money and power for himself.

    If R-money gets the nomination, he stands to lose 48 states in the general election.  In fact, a third party candidate would outperform him in many places.

    You might be a Rethug if you join forces with the tobacco lobbyists but condemn abortion, birth control, and gay marriage as crimes against humanity.

    by jhsu on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 09:09:43 PM PST

  •  Some Thoughts (8+ / 0-)

    Newt Gingrich has absolutely no reason to leave this race until after Super Tuesday. People are massively overrating to Romney's strength the rest of February. Gingrich could easily win both Minnesota and Colorado, and Arizona has enough hardcore conservative activists for him to win there, too. Santorum could easily embarrass Romney on the Missouri ballot (per PPP), and Ron Paul could win in Maine, too. Romney's coalition in Florida isn't available to him anywhere else.

    Even if Romney wins Michigan and Nevada, Gingrich will get plenty of delegates from both.

    On Super Tuesday, Gingrich will take virtually every delegate in Georgia (which will effectively erase Romney's delegate lead, I'm guessing), he'll probably win Alaska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and come close to winning North Dakota. He apparently is beating Romney in Ohio according to PPP, today, which narrative wise, would be a massive win for him.  

    I wouldn't be remotely surprised if not being on the Virginia ballot isn't a huge deal after Super Tuesday, where Newt likely wins more delegates than Romney in total, but would've actually been the delegate leader on March 7th if he had been on the VA. ballot (he was leading there per PPP not that long ago).

    As for general election polls, there is no question the President is in a strong position right now. The only three pollsters I rely on for general election, nation-wide polling information are Pew, PPP (even moreso for state-wide polling), and NBC/WSJ (Hart/McInturff).  If Obama is losing in two of three, then we should worry, as these were the best pollsters in 2008 and generally are very thorough and thoughtful in their methodology. Not coincidentally, all three of these pollsters have Obama leading Romney by at least 5 points at the moment.  

    •  Especially considering that Romney... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Caped Composer

      ...will probably act like he's won this thing already and shift hard to the left.  That's how he lost South Carolina and was forced to buy Florida.  Fortunately for Romney, Gingrich is terribly flawed.  Anyone less corrupt would have put Romney in deep doo doo.


      by LordMike on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 10:13:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  didn't a recent post say "the polls are accurate!" (0+ / 0-)

    i swear i recall (but can't find with the search on dailykos) as post which declared that polling (despite vast potential for sampling error - such as blocked cell-phones etc) have been indisputably accurate.  so (unless i imagined it) i'd say this post clearly belies that post.  [shrug]
    perhaps somewhere there's a clearing-house that really does do accurate scoring of political polling agencies rather than just accept the score the polling agencies offer of their own performance ...maybe.

  •  OT: To all Okiciyap Donors (6+ / 0-)

    YOU DID IT. They moved the trailer into place today!


    They still need the utilities hooked up and to skirt the trailer, but here it is.

    Thank you on behalf of the women and children of the Cheyenne River Reservation. You've done it again!

    Helping a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation,Okiciyap." ><"

    by betson08 on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 09:33:25 PM PST

  •  I Still Think That Tea Party Support (0+ / 0-)

    will be stronger tomorrow than polls are showing.  

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 11:07:55 PM PST

  •  The Marist poll showing (0+ / 0-)

    the President up by a good margin by FL standards as compared to the MD poll showing Romney ahead tells me that the President is very competitive in FL.  MD had a terrible year in 2008 and I don't think it will be very different for them in 2012.  To think that the GOP will have a big enthusiasm gap in their favor in 2012 as they did in 2010 is laughable.  Romney is terrible.  Obama is regarded as a heavyweight even by his enemies.  'Nuff said.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 02:24:09 AM PST

  •  Ya gotta hope that the News Press statement (0+ / 0-)

    was not written by their pollster.  They get bias mixed up with margin of error, and that state a wrong definition of a confidence interval (albeit one that is commonly quoted).

  •  Doesn't the FL GOP care about abortion? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why doesn't Gingrich just hammer Romney on his fetus killing?

    I want Gingrich dammit!!  Gingrich-Barbour would be my dream ticket.

    Under Ike we had 91% marginal tax rates and nobody called him as Socialist. - Robert Reich

    by lastman on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 05:12:23 AM PST

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