January 28, 2008 - McCain, Romney Tops In Florida GOP Race, As Giuliani Fades, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Clinton Has 20-Point Lead Among Democrats

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Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are running neck and neck among Florida likely Republican voters, with 32 percent for McCain and 31 percent for Romney, as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani gets 14 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee gets 13 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Among likely Democratic presidential primary voters, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Illinois Sen. Barack Obama 50 - 30 percent, with 12 percent for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

This compares to a four-way Republican primary horse race in a January 14 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University with McCain at 22 percent, Giuliani at 20 percent, and Romney and Huckabee at 19 percent each.

In that January 14 survey, Sen. Clinton topped Obama 52 - 31 percent.

"Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney are tight as a tick, although McCain's supporters appear slightly more committed. With 24 hours to go, the race is up in the air. Whichever candidate finishes strongest will win Florida and all 57 of its reduced delegate count," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The major unknown in the final hours before primary day, which could make the critical difference in determining the winner, is how much weight the endorsements by Gov. Charlie Crist and Sen. Mel Martinez of Sen. McCain carry with Florida Republicans.

"Even with Sen. Obama's landslide win in South Carolina, he still trails Sen. Clinton by 20 points and a comeback of that magnitude in the final hours would be virtually unprecedented in recent political history," said Brown. "Moreover, the demographics of the Florida Democratic electorate are not nearly as favorable to Obama as was the case in South Carolina, where more than half the voters were African-American.

"On the Democratic side, there are no delegates at stake at this point."

The shakeup in the Republican race, in which McCain and Romney have pulled away from what was a four-way dead heat two weeks ago, stems from former Huckabee and Giuliani voters moving to one of the two front-runners. In the last two weeks, McCain and Romney have gained 10 and 12 points respectively, while Giuliani and Huckabee have lost six points each.

"Mayor Giuliani rolled the dice for his entire campaign on Florida, and barring a comeback of monumental proportions, it looks like he is coming up snake eyes," said Brown.

A total of 82 percent of Clinton voters say they "are not too likely" or "not likely at all" to change their minds by tomorrow, compared to 69 percent of Obama supporters.

On the Republican side, 78 percent of McCain voters and 66 percent of Romney voters say they are not likely to change their minds.

Because Florida scheduled its January 29 primary outside the window allowed by the Republican and Democratic National Committee rules, the Democratic primary will award no delegates; while the GOP haul will be half its normal allotment.

From January 24 - 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 481 Florida likely Democratic primary voters, with a margin of error of 4.5 percent and 585 likely Republican primary voters, with a margin of error of 4.1 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. (If registered Democrat) If the 2008 Democratic primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, and Barack Obama, for whom would you vote?(If undecided q1) As of today, do you lean more toward Clinton, Edwards, Gravel, or Obama? *This table includes "Leaners".
                        LIKELY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS
                        Tot     Men     Wom
 
Clinton                 50%     50%     51%
Edwards                 12      11      13
Gravel                   -       -       -
Obama                   30      30      29
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          1       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         -       -       -
DK/NA                    7       9       6
 
TREND: (Likely Democratic Primary Voters) If the 2008 Democratic primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, and Barack Obama, for whom would you vote? na = not asked
                        LIKELY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS
                        Jan 28  Jan 14  Dec 20
                        2008    2008    2007
 
Clinton                 50      52      43
Edwards                 12       9      19
Gravel                   -       1       -
Obama                   30      31      21
Biden                   na      na       3
Dodd                    na      na       2
Kucinich                na       1       1
Richardson              na      na       2
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          1       1       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         -       -       -
DK/NA                    7       5       9
 
 
1a. (If express choice in Democratic Primary) How likely is it that you could change your mind? Very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, not likely at all?
                        LIKELY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS
                        Tot     Clinton Obama
 
Very likely              4%      2%      2%
Smwht likely            19      14      28
Not too likely          19      22      18
Not likely at all       58      60      51
DK/NA                    1       1       -
 
TREND: (If express choice in Democratic Primary) How likely is it that you could change your mind? Very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, not likely at all?
                        LIKELY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS
                        Jan 28  Jan 14  Dec 20
                        2008    2008    2007
 
Very likely              4        5      9
Smwht likely            19       26     34
Not too likely          19       19     21
Not likely at all       58       50     36
DK/NA                    1        1      -
 
 
2.(If registered Republican) If the 2008 Republican primary for President were being held today and the candidates were Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney for whom would you vote? (If undecided q2) As of today, do you lean more toward Giuliani, Huckabee, McCain, Paul or Romney? *This table includes "Leaners"
                        LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
                                                WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Men     Wom     Evangls
 
Giuliani                14%     17%     10%      7%
Huckabee                13       9      18      23
McCain                  32      32      32      30
Paul                     3       3       2       2
Romney                  31      31      31      28
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          1       1       2       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         -       -       -       -
DK/NA                    7       8       5       9
 
TREND: (Likely Republican Primary Voters) If the 2008 Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney, for whom would you vote? na = not asked
                        LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
                        Jan 28  Jan 14  Dec 20
                        2008    2008    2007
 
Giuliani                14      20      28
Huckabee                13      19      21
McCain                  32      22      13
Paul                     3       5       2
Romney                  31      19      20
Hunter                  na       1       1
Tancredo                na      na       -
Thompson                na       7       8
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          1       -       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         -       -       -
DK/NA                    7       7       6
 
 
2a. (If express choice in Republican primary) How likely is it that you could change your mind? Very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, not likely at all?
                        LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
                        Tot     McCain  Romney
 
Very likely              5%      2%      7%
Smwht likely            24      20      24
Not too likely          18      23      19
Not likely at all       52      55      47
DK/NA                    1       -       3
 
TREND: (If express choice in Republican Primary) How likely is it that you could change your mind? Very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, not likely at all?
                        LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS
                        Jan 28  Jan 14  Dec 20
                        2008    2008    2007
 
Very likely              5       7      12
Smwht likely            24      39      45
Not too likely          18      18      17
Not likely at all       52      35      23
DK/NA                    1       -       3