Though a Rasmussen poll released Monday showed Newt Gingrich well ahead of the rest of the Republican presidential field, a Univision/ABC News poll released this morning revealed Florida's Latino voters overwhelmingly favor former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Of those polled, 49 percent went for Romney; Gingrich got 23 percent, and the ABC News piece leaves out how many went for Rick Santorum or Ron Paul. Everyone in the race, however, trails among Latinos to one other candidate -- Barack Obama.
Here's the way ABC News described the breakdown, because there's no use in paraphrasing this part:
In a hypothetical head-to-head general election matchup with Obama, 40 percent of Florida Latinos say they would vote for Romney, while 50 percent prefer Obama. But if Gingrich secures the GOP nomination, Obama would have an even greater advantage among Latinos in the state, with only 38 percent supporting the former House Speaker and 52 percent opting for the president.
Unsurprisingly, Obama's support over the current Republican field is more pronounced among Florida Latinos than it is in the nation as a whole: The daily Rasmussen poll shows Obama leading Romney 46-43. The margin of error isn't included in the Rasmussen poll, but it seems safe to say that it's at least 3 percent, making Romney and Obama essentially tied nationally.
Which is probably why Democrats are already hammering the guy down here. The Orlando Sentinel reported yesterday that the Democratic National Committee and other liberal PACs are taking out ads attacking Romney and pretty much ignoring everybody else.
Everyone but Ron Paul will be in South Florida today: Gingrich at Wings Plus in Coral Springs at noon, with Romney and Santorum making appearances in Miami this afternoon.
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(The Univision/ABC News poll of 517 Florida Hispanic voters was conducted between January 16 and 23, before Monday's debate at the University of South Florida; who knows how that changed things. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent.)