Gallup tracking poll numbers from January 1 through March 23
Even though the national numbers are meaningless in terms of garnering delegates and Gallup asks registered voters instead of likely voters, I am fascinated with the numbers generated by these almost daily updates of the opinions of the Republican electorate. As you can see, Mitt R-Money (graph in green for cold hard cash) has been the leading candidate for about a month now and Sick Rantorum has rallied and then fallen back. On the most recent roll that concluded yesterday, Mitt became the first GOP candidate to break the 40% support barrier, garnering 42% of the vote. Just as significantly in my view is None of the Above (marked in black) went under 10% for the first time ever, coming in at 9%.
This year's Republican contest is dragging on much longer than it did in 2008, when Super Tuesday was a big win for John McCain in early February and everyone but diehard Dr. Ron Paul has folded their tents by early March. Rick Santorum is expected to win easily in Louisiana today, but because the delegates are handed out proportionally, Romney may very well pick up enough delegates in Louisiana to get over the halfway mark to 1,144, the number needed to get the nomination.
It took long enough, but Bill Clinton's line about "Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line" is looking more true than it has in a while.