The Washington Times - January 30, 2012, 02:04PM

The news is growing grim for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Florida, where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears to be widening his lead one day out from the state’s pivotal Republican presidential primary.

A new Suffolk University/7NEWS (WSVN-TV in Miami) poll of likely Republican primary voters in Florida shows that Mr. Romney has opened up a 20-point lead in the race.

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Mr. Romney bested Mr. Gingrich 47 percent to 27 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, meanwhile, received 12 percent, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul brought up the rear with with 9 percent.

Five percent were undecided.

“It is almost certain that Mitt Romney will top his 39 percent showing in New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “This poll also tells us that Romney could reverse and exceed Newt Gingrich’s percentage and margin in South Carolina — and do it in Gingrich’s backyard.”