The Campaign Spot

Romney, the Weak Frontrunner Who Leads Everywhere

Mitt Romney’s rivals took aim at him in the Sunday-morning debate, but it’s hard to see a scenario where he loses all of his currently gargantuan lead in New Hampshire: 20 percentage points, 24 percentage points, 15 percentage points, 24 percentage points, and 17 percentage points in the past five polls.

Then there’s South Carolina, the kind of conservative, heavily evangelical state one would expect Romney to have a tougher time in . . . where Romney leads by 7 percentage points, 3 percentage points, and 18 percentage points in the last three polls.

Then there’s Florida, where Quinnipiac is out with new results this morning:

With 36 percent of Florida Republican likely primary voters, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a double-digit lead three weeks before the nation’s first big-state presidential primary, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. But 54 percent of GOP primary voters say they still might change their mind.

Twelve points back in the Republican pack is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 24 percent, followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 16 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University survey finds. Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is at 10 percent with 5 percent for Texas Gov. Rick Perry and 2 percent for former ambassador Jon Huntsman. This first look at likely primary voters, a more select group, can’t be compared with earlier surveys of registered voters.

After that, it’s Nevada, which hasn’t been polled lately, but in mid-December, a survey had Romney at 33 percent, Gingrich at 29 percent, and Paul at 12 percent.

For a weak frontrunner, Mitt Romney sure leads in a lot of places.

Here’s more perspective: Since January 1, only one poll of the GOP field showed Romney trailing . . . anywhere, the PPP poll of Iowa that put Ron Paul up by one percentage point. That’s out of 21 polls of the nation, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.

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