The Washington Times - January 30, 2012, 09:38AM

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has increased his lead to 14 points over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Florida’s Republican presidential primary, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

Mr. Romney now leads Mr. Gingrich 43 percent to 29 percent, one day before the crucial vote. A week ago, Mr. Romney led his chief rival by only 2 percentage points in the same poll.


The survey found Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum tied for third at 11 percent each.

Other polls have found Mr. Romney increasing his lead by similar margins in recent days as the Romney campaign has outspent Mr. Gingrich heavily in Florida and Mr. Romney and other party leaders have sharpened their attacks on the former speaker.

The Quinnipiac poll found that self-described conservatives favor Mr. Romney over Mr. Gingrich, 40 percent to 31 percent. Tea party members also support Mr. Romney, 40 percent to 35 percent.