Gingrich, Romney in dead heat in new Florida poll

Gingrich, Romney

Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich has erased the double-digit lead his GOP rival Mitt Romney once held in Florida, leaving the two candidates in a dead heat in the latest poll out of the Sunshine state.

Romney leads with 36 percent among likely Republican primary voters in the new Quinnipiac poll, while Gingrich earns 34 percent. The poll, conducted January 19-23, has a margin of error of four points. Former Sen. Rick Santorum garnered 13 percent support while Rep. Ron Paul won 10 percent.

The former speaker has made big gains in Florida in just the past few weeks. In an earlier Quinnipiac poll released out of Florida on January 9, Romney led Gingrich 36 percent to 24 percent. A number of other polls showed Romney leading by double digits in Florida as recently as last week.

This poll suggests that Gingrich's momentum picked up after his victory in the South Carolina GOP primary on January 21. While he and Romney are statistically tied, Gingrich beat the former governor 40 percent to 34 percent among those polled after the South Carolina contest.

There's still room for movement ahead of Florida's January 31 primary -- only 7 percent of likely voters are undecided, but 37 percent of Gingrich supporters and 34 percent of Romney supporters say they could change their mind.

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