By Patricia Zengerle | Reuters
WASHINGTON – White House hopeful Mitt Romney widened his lead over rival Newt Gingrich to 11 percentage points in Florida, according to Reuters/Ipsos online poll results on Saturday, up from 8 points a day earlier, as he cemented his front-runner status in the Republican nomination race.
With just three days remaining before Florida’s Republican primary, Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, led Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, by 43 percent to 32 percent among likely voters in Florida’s January 31 primary, the online poll said.
He had led Gingrich by 41 percent to 33 percent in the online tracking poll on Friday.
“The momentum in Florida … really seems to be moving in Romney’s direction,” said Chris Jackson, research director for Ipsos Public Affairs.
The poll confirmed that Romney’s fortunes are turning around in Florida a week after a stinging setback when Gingrich scored an upset win in South Carolina’s primary.
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