A new CNN/Opinion Research poll of likely Republican primary voters in Florida, in addition to showing Giuliani with a 21-point lead, finds that just 20 percent believe that abortion abortion should not be legal under any circumstances, while 34 percent say it should be legal in “all” or “most” cases. Does this make Giuliani’s lead in Florida more stable, allowing him to stave off early defeats and gain a big win heading into Feb. 5? Hard to say, because another 43 percent of the GOP electorate in the Sunshine State says that abortion should be legal in “few” cases, but it doesn’t specify what “few” means. When “few” means only in cases of rape and incest, that is considered an effectively pro-life position, whereas if “few” means in the first trimester, it would be an effectively pro-choice position. Needless to say, it’s an interesting result, because one argument that pundits have been making is if the race gets narrowed down to a two-man race between Mitt “three-legged stool” Romney and pro-choice Giuliani, Romney will win. This Florida poll suggests it may not be as simple as that.
As for the horse race numbers, Giuliani was at 38 percent in the poll, followed by Romney comfortably at second at 17. This poll also had another poor result for Fred Thompson, because he was supposed to give Giuliani a run for his money here, and now he’s dropped into a third place tie with John McCain at 11. Mike Huckabee, who came in second in a Florida poll we mentioned yesterday, was back to his more traditional fifth place in this poll at 9 points, and Ron Paul was at 5. Also worth keeping in mind that two-thirds of voters remain undecided.
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