Game over: NBC/Marist poll shows Romney up 15 over Gingrich in Florida

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Mitt Romney may be on his way to a decisive victory in the Florida GOP primary Tuesday, according to a new NBC/Marist poll via First Read.

Romney leads Newt Gingrich by 15 points, 42 percent to 27 percent in the crucial state. Rick Santorum is third with 16 percent, followed by Ron Paul with 11 percent. Just 4 percent said they were undecided.

“The bottom line in all this is Romney’s sitting in the driver’s seat going into Tuesday,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College, who conducted the poll.

If Romney pulls off a victory of that magnitude, he could be on a glide path to the nomination. But there are warning signs for the Republican Party that the primary has taken a toll on Romney and the rest of the GOP field. Each of the candidates struggles in a general-election matchup with President Barack Obama in this swing state, especially with independents.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.