I know, I know: it’s wrong to assume that correlation implies causation. But look at what’s going on with Florida GOP voters. Nate Silver:
Polls Suggest Gingrich’s Support May Have Peaked
Polling released within the past 24 hours suggests that Mitt Romney may have stopped and possibly reversed Newt Gingrich’s momentum before the Florida primary on Tuesday.
… In fact, I suspect … that there is enough evidence — when you look carefully at the day-to-day results — to conclude that Mr. Romney has re-emerged as the slight favorite in Florida instead….
The poll chart at Talking Points Memo shows Romney’s Florida lead over Gingrich getting bigger and bigger over the past couple of days — it’s now at 7.7% The latest survey to be added to TPM’s poll mix is a Monmouth University survey (PDF) showing Mitt up by 7. It was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Gee, what happened Monday night and Tuesday morning? Well, among other things, Romney released the tax information that was supposed to hurt him tremendously. Guess what? It hasn’t — not with Republican voters in Florida it hasn’t. You can draw the same conclusion from a Rasmussen poll conducted yesterday (Romney up by 8, after trailing Gingrich by 9 four days earlier) and an Insider Advantage poll (PDF) also conducted yesterday (Romney up by 8 in this one as well, with a similar reversal of fortune).
Now, there are a couple of obvious explanations for Romney’s mini-surge in Florida: he has a much heavier TV presence in the state, and Gingrich delivered a tepid performance in the last debate. (Oh, and many media wingnuts are attacking Gingrich.)
But shouldn’t that be offset by Romney’s tax stuff, if (as mainstream pundits keep telling us) Republicans as well as Democrats think the plutocrats have gone too far in this country?
Florida Republicans clearly don’t believe that. At the very least, they’re giving Romney a pass on his wealth, his business practices, and his tax rate. Maybe it’s too much to say that being a fat cat is helping Romney with these Republicans, but it sure isn’t hurting him.
(X-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog.)