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Gingrich pads leads in Florida, S.C., new polls say

DES MOINES — Newt Gingrich has opened up a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney in three early states and significantly narrowed the gap in New Hampshire, the state that has been the firewall for the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign, according to a set of new polls by CNN and Time magazine.

In Florida, a state where Romney’s campaign has put early emphasis, Gingrich is leading Romney by a 2-to-1 margin, according to the poll by CNN/Time/ORC International. If the election were held today, 48 percent of likely Republican voters in Florida said they would support Gingrich, compared with 25 percent for Romney.

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