Exit Polling Not Good For Newt
Although most observers have already said that Mitt Romney is likely to defeat Newt Gingrich in the Florida primary, exit polling just out on CNN is more bad news for the former House Speaker.
For one thing the exit polls showed about an equal split between “very conservative”, “somewhat conservative” and “moderate” (all self described). This is very different from South Carolina where the electorate was strongly tilted to the “very conservative’ camp.
The number of voters showing themselves tied to the Tea Party was also smaller than in South Carolina, though still a major presence. The same holds true for evangelical versus non evangelical voters.
The network did not reveal the actual voting but a report from the Romney HQ pretty strongly telegraphed how the polling numbers were going. Candy Crowley stated both that the Romney advisors had access to the exit polling and that they were very confident of a 6-7 point victory.
By contast the report from the Gingrich HQ indicated a much more subdued attitude with discussions of future races and being able to stay in the race instead of discussing victory.