That’s what Public Policy Polling says, via the Miami Herald:
One-time poll cellar dweller Newt Gingrich is the new star on Florida’s political stage. But unlike with other presidential frontrunners, Gingrich’s support looks strong, with 41 to 47 percent of voters favoring the former House speaker, according to surveys released by InsiderAdvantage and Public Policy Polling, respectively.
Mitt Romney’s support is at 17 percent and starting to wane, both polls indicate. And Herman Cain’s numbers are also declining. He’s polling at 15 percent, a fall as he faces yet another sex-related allegation that he disputes…
“The biggest reason for Newt Gingrich’s rise is that he’s picked up the voters of Herman Cain and Rick Perry as their campaigns have fallen apart,” Tom Jensen, with Public Policy Polling, wrote in an analysis. “But these numbers make it pretty clear he’s doing more than that – some of Mitt Romney’s ‘25%’ is starting to fall off and move toward Newt as well.”
Romney has lost 13 percentage points since the last survey, conducted in September by Public Policy Polling, which typically surveys for Democrats. The two polls also indicate that Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum are stuck in single digits in Florida.
Ever since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich began to rise from the nether reaches of the Republican primary polls, mostly at the expense of self-destructing candidates Rick Perry and Herman Cain, it’s been our assumption that what he was really positioning himself for was a vice-presidential spot on somebody else’s ticket–like Mitt Romney’s.
This would be a little more complicated to pull off if the cuddly-but-thoroughly-unelectable (as president, anyway) Gingrich wins the nomination. We still very much doubt that will happen, but it’s hard to imagine a more telling indicator of would-be frontrunner Romney’s lack of traction than so many primary voters willing to entertain this succession of unqualified “alternatives.”
We think if you would have told Barack Obama in 2009 that Newt Gingrich would be jockeying for the lead in the GOP race to challenge him in 2012, he would have laughed at you.
And he would have said he couldn’t hope to be that lucky.