Newt Gingrich has surged to a five point lead in the latest PPP FLA poll. While a five point lead is certainly not a death knell for Mitt Romney it is a major change from the large lead Romney held in the state as early as two weeks ago. Gingrich is at 38%, Romney 33%, Santorum 13%, and Ron Paul at 10%. With Santorum on the ropes, lacking both money and support, the question now is when will he exit, and what impact would such an exit have. Public Policy shows that Santorum voters favor Gingrich by a 50% to 23% margin, potentially allowing Gingrich to further solidify his lead over Romney if Santorum exits. The pressure will build on Santorum, who is indicating that he is in this for the long haul. But that is what Rick Perry said a week before he got out too.
Romney is aware of the stakes here, pouring millions into statewide media. And with Gingrich receiving another $5 million from Sheldon Adelson the return fire is guaranteed. The air wars are getting pretty nasty, and there is more to come.