Jacksonville, Florida (CNN) - With four days to go before the Sunshine State's primary, a new poll indicates Mitt Romney has opened up a nine point lead over Newt Gingrich.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Friday morning, 38% of likely Florida Republican primary voters say they are backing the former Massachusetts governor for their party's presidential nomination, with 29% supporting the former House speaker.
Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @politicalticker
The poll indicates 14% are backing Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, with 12% supporting former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Six percent say they are undecided, but another 32% say they could change their minds by Tuesday's winner-take-all primary, where 50 delegates (the biggest haul so far) are up for grabs.
The poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday, entirely before Thursday night's explosive CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate here on the campus of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
It suggests that Gingrich's big momentum coming out of his double-digit victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary may be fading. Gingrich had a 40%-34% advantage over Romney in the Sunday and Monday portion of a Quinnipiac Florida survey released earlier in the week.
"Speaker Newt Gingrich's momentum from his South Carolina victory appears to have stalled and Gov. Mitt Romney seems to be pulling away in Florida," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Romney also has a better favorability rating from likely primary voters, which supports his lead in the horse race. Of course, with four days before Election Day, there is time for another reversal. Three in 10 voters say they might change their mind."
The poll indicates men back Romney 36% – 29% percent, a shift from the previous poll, when men backed Gingrich 37% – 33% percent. Romney leads by ten points percent among women, virtually unchanged.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted January 24-26, with 580 likely Republican primary voters in Florida questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN