Jan. 29 - Mitt Romney has a double digit lead over Newt Gingrich in Florida with just a day remaining before the state's Republican primary. Deborah Gembara reports.
With Florida's Republican primary drawing near, Mitt Romney's lead in the sunshine state appears to be widening. The former governor of Massachusetts has a double digit advantage over Newt Gingrich according to the latest Reuters Ipsos poll and polls conducted by the Miami Herald and NBC. In Naples, Florida Romney had his sleeves rolled up and looked more relaxed than in previous days. SOUNDBITE: Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney saying: "My own view is that the reason that Speaker Gingrich is having such a hard time in Florida is because the people of Florida have watched the debates, have listened to the other candidates and said you know what -- Mitt Romney is the guy we are going to support." Gingrich along with his wife Calista attended morning church services in Lutz, downplayed recent polls and vowed to fight beyond Tuesday. SOUNDBITE: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich saying: "We will go all the way to the convention. I believe the Republican Party will not nominate a pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-tax increase moderate from Massachusetts." Gingrich has actively courted conservatives, peppering his campaign speeches with references to former president Ronal Reagan. He also heads into the primary with a recent win in South Carolina. What that might mean to Florida voters won't be clear until election day. Around Miami, both men seemed to generate mixed reactions. SOUNDBITE: Bobby Falack, retiree, saying: "My vote is going to be with Mitt Romney. [WHY?] Because I feel that he's got a lot of potential. I feel that his ways and he gets his message across and I think that we're due for a change right now." Karina Klee, a sunbather on Miami Beach, isn't convinced either candidate is a match for President Obama. With 19 million people, Florida is the most populous of presidential swing states. SOUNDBITE: Karina Klee, realtor saying: "I like Obama. I think he's a very smart person and he's doing very well. I think he's a very good president." At the Bagel Cove, a popular New York-style deli in North Miami, the political differences were as loaded as the corn beef and pastrami sandwiches. SOUNDBITE: Chuck Aserno, Florida Resident saying: "I'm very concerned about the way the Republicans are beating the hell out of each other. I think all they're doing is making it more difficult for whoever wins this to win against President Obama. I'm supporting Mitt Romney because I think Mr. Gingrich just, he and I just don't agree on how he comes across. I think this whole Republican party is so screwed up because they have allowed each other to eat each other's lunch and when it's all said and done, the Democrats will just just sit there and feast on it and that is of great concern to me and I know to many other Republicans." SOUNDBITE: Desiree Davila, a registered nurse And Democrat saying: "Last night I saw Newt's conversation about 2020 and the moon when people here can't afford their upside-down homes." Republicans of all stripes are, however, in agreement about one issue. SOUNDBITE: Laura, Florida resident saying: " We've got to get rid of Obama." In recent years Florida's primary has increased in importance, and the outcome will set the tone for the rest of the Republican contest. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.