Questionable poll ties Romney with Gingrich, Paul at 6%

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- A questionable Florida Chamber of Commerce poll places Mitt Romney statistically tied with Newt Gingrich in the Florida Presidential Primary race at 33.13% to 32.95%, respectively.  The poll also has Rick Santorum at 10.32% and Ron Paul at 6.15%.

The Chamber poll of 504 registered Republicans was conducted January 22-23 by Cherry Communications, a public relations firm.

However, the Chamber poll diverges sharply with other polls conducted by well-known pollsters on January 22 and/or 23.  As highlighted below, the difference in polling numbers could be due to polling registered voters versus likely voters, and the number of Republicans surveyed in the polls:

A Public Policy Poll of 921 likely Republican voters conducted on January 22-23 puts Gingrich at 38%, Romney 33%, Santorum 13%, and Paul 10%.

A Rasmussen Poll of 750 likely Republican voters conducted on January 22 puts Gingrich at 41%, Romney 32%, Santorum 11%, and Paul 8%.

An Insider Advantage Poll of 557 likely Republican voters conducted on January 22 puts Gingrich at 34%, Romney 26%, Santorum 11%, and Paul 13%.

Notwithstanding the statistically outlying Chamber polling data, the Florida Chamber of Commerce issued this statement in a press release on January 24:

“Following the South Carolina primary, Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich arrive in Florida and begin the final week before Florida’s January 31 primary at a dead even heat – 33% each. Rick Santorum is in third place with 10% followed by Ron Paul with 6%,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “It’s clear that both candidates need to aggressively campaign for votes in Florida.”

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