Romney has large lead in new Fla. primary polls

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigns at Sugden Plaza in Naples, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Charles Dharapak

There's been a shift in the political landscape leading up to Tuesday's Republican presidential primary in Florida.

A new poll out Sunday shows Mitt Romney leading Newt Gingrich by eleven points - 43 to 32 - with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul lagging far behind.

CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford reports that, with those polls showing a dramatic swing, everyone today is asking the same question: What happened?

Romney directed his response right to Gingrich.

"You're selling influence in Washington at a time when you need people who stand up for the truth in Washington," Romney said on the campaign trail.

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Gingrich went on the Sunday shows and blamed Romney for his drop. He told Fox News' Chris Wallace the vote will be closer than the polls suggest.

"We have a shot at winning. But, frankly, it's uphill against the sheer weight of Romney's money and the negativity of his campaign," Gingrich said.

Romney threw that back at him.

"He's on TV this morning going from station to station complaining about what he thinks were the reasons he thinks he's had difficulty here in Florida, but you know, we've got a president who has a lot of excuses, and the excuses are over, it's time to produce," Romney said on Sunday.

The battle for Florida has been fierce. Romney and Gingrich - and the outside groups supporting them - have hit each other hard with tough ads.

A Gingrich ad asks of Romney: "How can we trust him on anything?"

Some have suggested the fight could do long-term damage to the eventual nominee. Reince Preibus, chair of the Republican National Committee, told Bob Schieffer the attacks instead will make the nominee even stronger -- and he pointed to Democrats in 2008 as proof.

"When Hilary Clinton called Barack Obama a hypocrite, and when Obama said that Hillary Clinton didn't have the moral fiber to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier, you see what happened - Hillary is now the Secretary of State, Barack Obama is the president. I think primaries are tough," Preibus said.

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    Jan Crawford is CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent.