A report for Peach Pundit: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich increased the share of his vote by four points over the seven day period from 2/23 to 3/1.
Gingrich led the field as of Thursday, entering the final weekend with 42% of the vote. Former Gov. Mitt Romney had moved to second with 22% of the vote (up 3%) and former Senator Rick Santorum had fallen to third with 16%. Congressman Ron Paul continued with 5% of the vote, essentially unchanged from previous polls.
The biggest factor between the candidates appears to now be age: the older the voter, the more likely they are to vote for Gingrich. Fully 49% of voters aged 65 or older responded that they would vote for Gingrich. These are the voters who remember Gingrich as a Georgia Republican party-builder and a former Speaker of the House. Gingrich led, as of Thursday, in both Metro Atlanta and in non-Metro Atlanta areas of Georgia.
Romney’s gains were actually outside of Metro Atlanta, moving up there by 4%; Romney gained by just 1% in Metro Atlanta. Metro Atlanta will likely make up approximately 50% of the state’s vote on Super Tuesday.
Santorum was likely hurt in the polls by this week’s election losses in Michigan and Arizona. He gained serious stature due to his surprise wins three weeks ago, so losses may disproportionately hurt his standing with voters, as well.
The telephone poll was jointly conducted and released by Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications. The poll was commissioned by WSB-TV/Channel 2. 950 interviews were completed with self-described Likely Voters in the March 6 Republican Presidential Preference Primary. The the margin of error is 3.25%. Crosstabs are available on Landmark’s website.