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According to the poll, Gingrich holds a 38%-35% margin over Romney among supporters of the tea party movement.

Final poll: Early voting gives Romney a leg up in Florida

Posted by
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – It’s primary day in the Sunshine State, but more than 600,000 people have already voted in Florida’s Republican presidential contest. And a new public opinion poll indicates that the ballots already cast may help former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney take the 50 delegates up for grabs in Florida’s winner take all primary.

Early voting began statewide ten days ago, and according to figures released Monday afternoon by the Florida Department of State, which runs the division of elections, 293,760 people had already cast ballots. And according to the state, more than 531,000 people requested and were sent absentee ballots, and 338,753 were returned and received by Florida officials.

Add it all together and more than 632,000 votes were already cast before primary day. To put it in perspective, that’s more than the 601,577 who voted in the South Carolina primary, and far outpaces the combined 360,000 that took part in the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses.

And according to an American Research Group survey released Tuesday morning, 36% of people questioned said they already voted, and among those, Romney led former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 51% to 29%, with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 12% and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 10%.

Sixty-four percent said they would vote on primary day, and among them, Romney had a much smaller 39% to 32% advantage over Gingrich, with Santorum at 14% and Paul at 10%.

Overall, 43% of likely Florida Republican primary voters said they were backing Romney, who’s making his second bid for the GOP nomination, with Gingrich at 31%, Santorum at 13% and Paul, who’s making this third run for the White House, at 9%. The ARG poll is the fifth survey released over the past 48 hour hours to indicate Romney holding a double digit lead over the rest of the field.

According to the poll, Gingrich holds a 38%-35% margin over Romney among supporters of the tea party movement, with Romney holding a large 29 point lead over Gingrich among those who say they are not tea party supporters.

The survey indicates that Romney has a 37%-33% margin over Gingrich among men, with Romney holding a 23 point lead over Gingrich among women.

The American Research Group poll was conducted Sunday and Monday, with 600 likely Florida GOP primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

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Media coverage of Tea Party Express

Tea Party Express on WMBB (ABC) – Panama City, FL
01/30/2012 05:01:04 PM
News 13 Live at Five (News)
…success… and it has nothing to do with who wins the vote. the tea party express found it’s way to panama city today. the conservative group is on a florida bus tour…encouraging people to vote in tomorrow’s …

Tea Party Express on WMBB (ABC) – Panama City, FL
01/30/2012 05:02:13 PM
News 13 Live at Five (News)
…you’ll hear why she says this bus tour and the tea party express are having an impact. big bend community based care helps over two thousand children in the region cope with difficult home-life …

Tea Party Express on WJHG (NBC) – Panama City, FL
01/30/2012 05:03:35 PM
News Channel 7 at Five (News)
…the state campaigning for votes.today, the tea party express was in panama city, but the turn out was less than expected. newschannel 7’s amber southard joins us live in our studios with more. amber aroun …

Tea Party Express on WJHG (NBC) – Panama City, FL
01/30/2012 05:04:45 PM
News Channel 7 at Five (News)
…don’t think there is a consensus that’s developed.” the tea party express also spoke at jerry’s cajun cafe in pensacola this afternoon.amber southard newschannel 7. when voters in washington and …

Tea Party Express on KTEJ (PBS) – Jonesboro, AR
01/30/2012 05:34:42 PM
PBS NewsHour (News)
…showed up in winter park on short notice for a tea party express bus tour to rally florida voters were smaller than they were a couple of years ago. that’s when passionate tea …

Tea Party Express on WMBB (ABC) – Panama City, FL
01/30/2012 06:01:49 PM
News 13 at 6 (News)
…situation that might arise tomorrow. the tea party express bus has been making it’s way across florida…rallying people to vote in tomorrow’s primary. today.. the bus rolled into the …

Tea Party Express on WJHG (NBC) – Panama City, FL
01/30/2012 06:02:44 PM
News Channel 7 at Six (News)
…republican candidates and supporters criss- crossing the state.the tea party express rolled into panama city this morning, but few people turned-out. newschannel 7’s amber southard joins us live …

Tea Party Express on WJHG (NBC) – Panama City, FL
01/30/2012 06:04:13 PM
News Channel 7 at Six (News)
…is a consensus that’s developed.” the tea party express also made a stop at jerry’s cajun cafe in pensacola this afternoon.amber southard, newschannel 7. bay county elections …

Tea Party Express on OETA (PBS) – Oklahoma City, OK
01/30/2012 06:04:38 PM
…showed up in winter park on short notice for a tea party express bus tour to rally florida voters were smaller than they were a couple of years ago. that’s when passionate tea …

Tea Party Express on WTTW (PBS) – Chicago, IL
01/30/2012 06:04:42 PM
…showed up in winter park on short notice for a tea party express bus tour to rally florida voters were smaller than they were a couple of years ago. that’s when passionate tea …

Tea Party Express on WSKA (PBS) – Elmira, NY
01/30/2012 07:04:37 PM
PBS NewsHour (News)
…showed up in winter park on short notice for a tea party express bus tour to rally florida voters were smaller than they were a couple of years ago. that’s when passionate tea …

Tea Party Express on WNET-TV (PBS) – New York, NY
01/30/2012 07:04:38 PM
PBS NewsHour (News)
…showed up in winter park on short notice for a tea party express bus tour to rally florida voters were smaller than they were a couple of years ago. that’s when passionate tea …

Tea Party Express on WSWP (PBS) – Bluefield, WV
01/30/2012 07:04:38 PM
PBS NewsHour (News)
…showed up in winter park on short notice for a tea party express bus tour to rally florida voters were smaller than they were a couple of years ago. that’s when passionate tea …

Tea Party Express on WUFT (NBC) – Gainesville, FL
01/30/2012 07:04:43 PM
PBS NewsHour (News)
…showed up in winter park on short notice for a tea party express bus tour to rally florida voters were smaller than they were a couple of years ago. that’s when passionate tea …

Tea Party Express on WMBB (ABC) – Panama City, FL
01/30/2012 10:04:24 PM
News 13 at 10 (News)
…at wmbb.com. just in time for the primary election– the tea party express bus stops in panama city– spreading their message to voters. founder of the tea party …

Tea Party Express on KTOO (PBS) – Juneau, AK
01/31/2012 12:04:37 AM
PBS NewsHour (News)
…showed up in winter park on short notice for a tea party express bus tour to rally florida voters were smaller than they were a couple of years ago. that’s when passionate tea …

Tea Party Express on WMBB (ABC) – Panama City, FL
01/31/2012 05:05:45 AM
News 13 This Morning (News)
…locations– visit our webchannel at wmbb.com. s the “tea party express” is making its way across florida… rallying voters. and the panama city marina became a stop-over and rally …

Tea Party Express on WMBB (ABC) – Panama City, FL
01/31/2012 06:05:45 AM
News 13 This Morning (News)
…voting locations– visit our webchannel at wmbb.com. the “tea party express” is making its way across florida… rallying voters. and the panama city marina became a stop-over and rally …

Tea Party Express on WMBB (ABC) – Panama City, FL
01/31/2012 06:54:33 AM
News 13 This Morning (News)
…locations– visit our webchannel at wmbb.com. s the “tea party express” is making its way across florida… rallying voters. and the panama city marina became a stop-over and rally …