John McCain and Mitt Romney are locked in a tight battle in Florida on the eve of its primary, according to five polls published today. Several polls noted that McCain’s effort had been bolstered by the endorsement of popular Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.
– The Quinnipiac University poll: McCain has 32 percent to Romney’s 31 percent in a survey conducted Jan. 24-27. Margin of error is 4.1 percent. Rudy Giuliani has 14 percent and Mike Huckabee 13 percent. In Quinnipiac’s Jan. 14 survey, all four candidates were in range of each other. Quinnipiac pollster Peter brown says, “With 24 hours to go, the race is up in the air.” Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama 50 percent to 30 percent with John Edwards at 12 percent.
– Zogby Poll: McCain has 33 percent to Romney’s 30 percent, with a margin of error of 3.4 percent. Giuliani leads Huckabee in the second-tier, 14 percent to 11 percent. The poll was conducted Jan. 25-27. Pollster John Zogby says, “The key demographic to watch is the mainline conservative voter, and McCain’s good day Sunday was the result of his improvement among that group. He retains strong support from moderates while Romney enjoys strong support among very conservative Republicans.”
– Rasmussen Reports: McCain and Romney are tied at 31 percent. Helped by the Crist endorsement, McCain picked up four percentage points over the previous day. Giuliani is at 16 percent and Huckabee at 11 percent. The survey suggests that “the election may be decided by the number of Giuliani and Huckabee supporters who decide to abandon their first choice in hopes of influencing the outcome.” The survey was conducted January 7 and has a margin of error of 4 percent.
– Suffolk University poll: McCain leads Romney 30 percent to 27 percent. Giuliani has 13 percent and Huckabee 11 percent. Forty-four percent of voters cited the economy as the most important issue facing the country followed by terrorism (20 percent), illegal immigration (18 percent), and the war in Iraq (13 percent). The poll was conducted Jan. 25-27 and has a 4.9 percent margin of error.
– Strategic Vision poll: McCain is at 27 percent, Romney 26 percent, Giuliani 17 percent, and Huckabee 15 percent in this Jan. 25-27 survey. The margin of error is 4.5 percent. The poll found a different order of importance of issues than Suffolk University, with Iraq at 19 percent, the economy at 18 percent, taxes at 15 percent, the war on terror and health care at 11 percent, and education at 10 percent.