The Florida primary is just one day away. Here are ten things you need to know.
- Polls continue to show Romney with a solid lead in Florida: Mitt Romney is holding steady in Public Policy Polling’s (D) nightly tracking in Florida ahead of Tuesday’s vote. PPP has Romney getting 39 percent of GOPers polled, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 32, former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum 14 and Rep. Ron Paul 11. An InsiderAdvantage poll out Sunday night has Romney’s lead reduced to 5 points, with Gingrich trailing Romney 31%-36%. A Quinnipiac poll of Florida will be released Monday morning. The TPM Poll Average shows Romney with a 10 point lead in the state.
- In 12 swing states, Obama and Romney in dead heat: A new Gallup poll in 12 swing states shows President Obama and Mitt Romney virtually tied. Nationally, both receive 48%. But up against the other candidates — especially Newt Gingrich — Obama opens up a wide lead.
- Only two candidates campaign in Florida the day before the primary: A day before the Florida primary, only Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are campaigning in the Sunshine State. Ron Paul has been focusing on the early caucus states of Nevada, Colorado, and Maine. After spending the weekend out of Florida to look after his ill daughter, Santorum has decided to skip ahead, or as the press release put it, move “toward Super Tuesday” by spending the next 2 days in Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, and Nevada.
- Romney sends surrogate Chaffetz after Gingrich: Monday morning, Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah will hold a conference call with reporters on why Newt Gingrich is an “unreliable conservative” — one of many lines of attack the campaign is using against Gingrich. Unlike many other Romney surrogates, Chaffetz, who was elected to the House in 2008, never served with Gingrich.
- Romney outspent Gingrich in Florida 5 to 1: Mitt Romney headed to Florida weakened from a bruising defeat in South Carolina, but in the last week he’s surged to a strong lead of at least 7 percentage points. He has also vastly outspent his rival in the state by a ratio of 5 to 1. In Florida, the Gingrich campaign and pro-Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future spent $3,390,000 through Tuesday; Pro-Romney Restore Our Future and the Romney campaign spent a total of $15,340,000.
- Santorum’s daughter recovering after hospitalization: Rick Santorum’s 3-year old daughter Isabella, who suffers from the chromosomal condition Trisomy 18, was admitted to a Philadelphia-area hospital over the weekend for pneumonia, causing Santorum to cancel campaign events and media appearances Sunday. On Sunday night, Santorum announced his daughter had had a “miraculous turnaround” and is expected to be released from the hospital in a matter of days.
- Gingrich campaign launches new website attacking Romney: The Gingrich campaign has a new webiste, TalesofMitt.com to detail the “falsehoods” Romney gives about his record. The website has video, as well as a list of what the Gingrich camp calls Romney’s latest fibs.
- What George Soros said: The Gingrich campaign is desperately trying to paint Romney as a ‘Massachusetts liberal’ with the same health care plan as President Obama. So when liberal philanthropist George Soros told world leaders in Davos that there wouldn’t be a big difference between Romney and Obama, the Gingrich campaign fired off an email using Soros to further yoke the two together.
- Republicans will lose Latino voters, says Obama campaign memo: In a memo from Organizing for America, President Obama’s campaign operation called “Republicans Seal Their Fate with Hispanic Voters in 2012,” the campaign uses recent polling to show Obama beating both Gingrich and Romney among Latino voters, and that both candidates’ opposition to an earned path to citizenship will hurt them since 71% of Hispanics favor such a path.
- Newt takes strong stance against stem-cell research: Campaigning for evangelical voters in Florida, Newt Gingrich drew a hard line against stem-cell research this weekend promising ban it in all cases, even though Gingrich previously supported such research years ago. Saying that “the use of science to desensitize society over the killing of babies,” Gingrich drew a contrast between himself and Mitt Romney, who doesn’t support stem-cell research at the federal level but would not ban it at the state level.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.