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Can Romney KO the GOP Field

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Based on the findings of a recent TWT/JZ Analytics poll, which surveyed 500 Republican voters, more than a quarter of Republicans are not sure of who they will vote for. What does this mean? It means that although Romney eked out a slim victory in Iowa, and convincingly won in NH, Republican voters, mainly conservatives, are not sold on Romney as a true standard bearer of Reagan conservative values.

The big question going into SC is can Romney break away from the field in South Carolina or will conservative voters speak and propel Gingrich or Santorum to a close second place?

This dance of who the electorate wants as the GOP candidate could continue until April, mainly because of the GOP's proportional delegate system, which could provide no clear winner until the spring. Romney's endorsement by SC Gov. Nikki Haley, who suffers credibility issues with SC voters, will only up the ante when it comes to winning in a state that boasts many evangelicals and conservatives.

Both Gingrich and Santorum will have to spend mightily and receive key endorsements from conservative leaders to finish in a strong second in order to continue on to the sunshine state with money, momentum and media. In a crowded field, Romney leads the field with 32% of Republican primary voters saying they support him, while Gingrich (17%) remains in a distant second. Both Rick Santorum (17%) and Ron Paul (15%) are nipping at Romney's heals and garner double digit support in the TWT/JZ Analytics nationwide poll of Republicans. Ron Paul will not play much of a factor in SC but he has vowed to continue on, which could pose problems in later primaries. According to a Monmouth University poll, Gingrich is in second place with 22% of SC Carolina voters saying they support him versus 36% polled who support Romney.

One thing is for sure, Romney does have his opponents up against the ropes, but he needs to have a strong showing in SC, or he may be one hard right hook away from someone catching a second wind and making this an interesting fight until the GOP convention.

For complete cross-tabs and more information about the poll, please visit http://jzanalytics.com/DATA/Crosstabs_Republican_US_011412.pdf

Looking for additional information about the poll?
Contact Karen Scott -
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Looking for independent political analysis?
Contact Independent Pollster John Zogby -
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 315-534-0476


Methodology
Poll of Republican Primary Voters
1/14/2012 thru 1/15/2012

JZ Analytics was commissioned by the Washington Times to conduct a telephone survey of Republican primary voters nationwide. The sample is 500 interviews with approximately 30 questions asked. Samples are randomly drawn from purchased RDD lists of both landlines and wireless telephones. Up to three calls are made to reach a sampled phone number. Cooperation rates are calculated using one of AAPOR's approved methodologies.

Using information based on census data, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion.

Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 500 is +/- 4.5 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.

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