Romney leads by double digits in Florida

Mitt Romney leads by double digits in Florida, according to a new poll.

According to the Quinnipiac Poll released Monday, Romney leads the field among Florida Republicans with 36 percent of the vote, followed by Newt Gingrich with 24 percent, then Rick Santorum at 16 percent. Behind them, Ron Paul has the support of 10 percent of Florida Republicans, Rick Perry has 5 and Jon Huntsman trails with 2 percent. The poll also found that 54 percent of Florida Republicans say they could change their minds in the coming weeks.

The poll's findings are similar to other surveys in early primary states like New Hampshire that have found Romney with a commanding lead. But Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter A. Brown cautioned that with the Jan. 31 Florida primary still three weeks away, the poll's findings could easily change.

"Gov. Mitt Romney has a double-digit lead in Florida among likely primary voters. But the primary is three weeks away and the results from New Hampshire and South Carolina could shake things up in the Sunshine State," Brown said in a statement. "With more than half of voters saying they might change their minds and more than 50 percent of them backing candidates perceived as more conservative, Romney could be vulnerable if those voters settle on one candidate," Brown added.

Additionally, Quinnipiac found that Tea Partiers are split on their favored candidate. Thirty-two percent of Florida Tea Partiers say they back Romney and Gingrich, respectively, while 19 percent support Santorum, 7 percent back Paul and 4 percent back Rick Perry. Meanwhile, 28 percent of evangelical Christians support Romney, 26 percent support Gingrich and 20 percent support Santorum.

New Hampshire's Republican primary is on Jan. 10 and South Carolina's primary is on Jan. 21.

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