Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich Lead Florida Poll, but Bettors Go With Romney

With a month to go until Florida's GOP presidential primary, the latest poll shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich essentially tied and well ahead of the rest of the field.

For those who are putting money on Florida's GOP primary, though, they're picking Romney by a wide margin.

The News Service of Florida is reporting that TelOpinion Research just released a poll it conducted between December 15 and 19, still making it the most recent poll of the state.

That poll puts Romney at 27 percent, Gingrich at 26 percent, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul a distant third at 5 percent.

As is the national trend, respondents identifying as Tea Party supporters or more conservative picked Gingrich, but Romney led among those who identified as "somewhat conservative."

Over at Intrade, though, people are putting their money on Romney.

Bettors give Romney a 60 percent chance of winning the Florida primary, followed by Gingrich at 15 percent and Paul at nearly 8 percent.

The New York Times' Nate Silver also has a vote projection for Florida, estimating Gingrich will get a little over 48 percent of the vote, with Romney behind him at 26.5 percent and Paul again in a distant third at 7 percent. He's currently saying it's "too early" to declare anyone's chances of winning the state.

What's it all mean? Not too much -- that's why they actually count the votes.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley