For future reference, when we are biting our nails and looking at polls for a glimmer of hope...here's how last night's totals in the Florida Republican primary tallied out:
Romney , Mitt 771,842 46%
Gingrich , Newt 531,294 32%
Santorum , Rick 222,248 13%
Final score: Mitt by 14...
And here are the polls, 24 hours before election day:
A Quinnipiac poll in Florida shows Mitt Romney has a 14 point lead over Newt Gingrich, 43% to 29%, with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum both at 11%. Just 7% are undecided, but 24% say they might change their mind by tomorrow's primary election.
A SurveyUSA poll finds Romney tops Gingrich by 15 points, 41% to 26%, with Santorum and Paul at 12% each.
A We Ask America poll shows Romney crushing Gingrich by 22 points, 50% to 28%, with Santorum at 12% and Paul at 11%.
A Public Policy Polling survey shows Romney leads Gingrich by seven points, 39% to 32%, with Santorum at 14% and Paul at 11%.
A InsiderAdvantage poll says the race is down to just five points with Romney leading Gingrich, 36% to 31%, followed by Santorum and Paul each at 12%.
A Suffolk University poll finds Romney ahead of Gingrich by 20 points, 47% to 27%, with Santorum at 12% and Paul at 9%.
Quinnipiac hit the nail on the head. Survey USA got the margin right as well. Insider Advantage and PPP were off wildly, projecting a Gingrich surge that never happened. Whereas We Ask America and Suffolk University both overshot the Romney margin by over-counting (oversampling?) Romney support at the expense of Gingrich.
It's not like anyone called it for Gingrich. But PPP and Insider gave false hope to the legion of Gingrich-ites of a "late break" for their candidate. Just something to keep in mind for the general election in November, when we will be studying polls the way the old masters studied the I-Ching, desperately using all our tools of divination to get a clue to our onrushing fate...