Two new polls show Mitt Romney moving into a commanding position in Florida, opening double-digit leads that will be hard for Newt Gingrich -- his closest competitor -- to erase by the state's primary on Tuesday.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, had a 15-point lead over Gingrich in The Marist Poll, 42 percent to 27 percent. That included likely Republican primary voters as well as people who had voted early or cast absentee ballots in the GOP primary. The poll found him leading on electability, experience, values and issue positions.
Gingrich trailed Romney by 11 points -- 42 percent to 31 percent -- in a Mason-Dixon poll conducted for five Florida news organizations, including the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and The Tampa Bay Times. The poll showed Romney ahead in virtually every geographic and demographic segment of the GOP electorate.
Both polls were conducted by phone. Mason-Dixon interviewed 500 likely Republican primary voters Jan. 24-26. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Marist interviewed 682 likely Republican primary voters Jan. 25-27; the margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.