New polls show Gingrich and Romney in dead heat in Florida

Chris Moody
Political Reporter
The Ticket

With less than a week before Tuesday's Florida primary, Mitt Romney is in a dead heat with Newt Gingrich in the Sunshine State, according to two polls that were released on Wednesday.

Here are the Time/CNN results, reported by Mark Halperin at 4 p.m. ET:

Mitt Romney: 36 percent
Newt Gingrich: 34 percent
Rick Santorum: 11 percent
Ron Paul: 9 percent

The poll of 410 registered Republicans was conducted from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier Wednesday showed the exact same numbers, with 36 percent of likely Republican voters saying they support Romney and 34 percent for Gingrich.

"The new survey helps clarify the candidates' respective sources of support," Time's Alex Altman wrote of the newest numbers. "Romney leads Gingrich among female and white voters, voters over 50, and those with a college degree. Geographically, he is strong in the Tampa Bay area and the state's rural and exurban regions." Altman went on:

Gingrich holds leads among men, Tea Party voters, self-identified conservatives—among whom he boasts a 10-point advantage—and born-again Christians. His fans also appear to be more committed than Romney's. Four of five Gingrich backers say their minds are made up, compared to less than two thirds of the former Massachusetts governor's supporters. Overall, 25 percent of respondents indicated they were liable to change their minds.

Saturday's election in Florida on Tuesday is a winner-take-all contest with 50 delegates, which will provide a major boost to any candidate who wins.

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