Mitt Romney Beats Newt Gingrich by 20 Points in Florida Poll

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Mitt Romney, who routinely gets shit from other conservatives for being too rich, too Mormon, and too willing to help people get healthcare, is crushing top rival Newt Gingrich in Florida a day before the Jan. 31 primary -- a just-released Suffolk University/7 News poll puts the former Massachusetts gov at a comfy, 20-point lead over the candidate who shares a name with an amphibian.

The reason: even deep-pocketed neo-cons feel the hurt of a bad economy, and Romney is seen as the candidate most likely to fix country's financial troubles, Suffolk says.

Despite all the nasty infighting in the GOP field, most of the 500 registered Repubs surveyed in the swing state think that their party will take the presidency.

Only 21 percent think that Obama will get a return ticket to the White House this November.

The details? Romney, at 47 percent of the vote, edged over Gingrich's 27 percent. Rick Santorum got 12 percent, leaving Ron Paul at a weak 9 percent. Five percent were undecided.

In three of the state's bellwether counties -- districts which typically predict the elections' outcomes -- Romney won by an even wider split.

Romney topped Gingrich 52 percent to 24 percent in Martin and Volusia counties. In Sarasota County, Romney had 45 percent, compared to Gingrich's 21 percent.

"When you see numbers like these, Romney is actually flirting with a fifty percent threshold, which would be devastating to his opponents given how difficult it is to get to that threshold in a multi-candidate field," a Suffolk pollster said.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis...ellipses...


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