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Poll: Romney Leads Gingrich by 15 Points in Florida


Mitt Romney has a 15-point lead over rival Newt Gingrich in Florida, just two days away from the state's primary, a new poll shows.

The former Massachusetts governor has 42 percent support among likely GOP voters, compared to the former House Speaker's 27 percent, according to the NBC News/Marist poll released Sunday. The poll includes undecided voters who are leaning toward a particular candidate.

"The bottom line in all this is Romney's sitting in the driver's seat going into Tuesday," Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College, told MSNBC.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum came in third at 16 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul was fourth with 11 percent.

A separate poll released late Saturday had Romney with an 11-point lead over Gingrich, beating him 42 percent to 31 percent. Santorum had 14 percent and Paul had 6 percent, in the survey conducted by the Tampa Bay Times, Miami Herald and other news organizations.

Neither poll takes into account any potential boost Gingrich could receive from Saturday's endorsement from Herman Cain.

The results are a setback for Gingrich, who saw his poll numbers in Florida surge following his Jan. 21 victory in South Carolina.

Gingrich on Sunday acknowledged his slide in the polls, and blamed Mitt Romney for "carpet-bombing" him with "Wall Street money" attack ads, Politico reported.

"If you'll notice, when you get outside the zone where Romney carpet-bombs with Wall Street money, and you look at what's happening in the rest of the country, I'm ahead in all three national polls that were released this week," Gingrich said on ABC's "This Week." "It's only when he can mass money to focus on carpet-bombing with negative ads that he gains any traction at all."

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