Fresh from a major win in Florida, U.S. Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney appears poised for victory in the western state of Nevada, with just one day to go before that state’s presidential caucuses.
A new poll gives the former Massachusetts governor a 20-point lead over former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich — Romney with 45 percent and Gingrich with 25 percent. The survey of likely Republican caucus voters showed former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum with 11 percent and Texas Congressman Ron Paul with 9 percent.
Nevada is one of eight presidential nominating contests to take place ahead of “Super Tuesday” on March 6, when 10 states will hold their nominating contests.
Romney is expected to get a boost in Nevada from fellow followers of the Mormon religion. He won Nevada the first time he ran for the Republican nomination in 2008. Then, Mormons made up about a quarter of Nevada Republican caucus voters, and 95 percent of them backed Romney.
Romney is holding campaign events throughout the state Friday. Gingrich and Paul are also campaigning in Nevada, while Santorum is focusing his attention on Missouri, which holds its presidential primary on Tuesday.
Under state Republican rules, Romney picked up all 50 of the delegates Florida is allocated at the national convention. To win the presidential nomination, a candidate needs 1,144 of 2,286 delegate votes at the convention.
More than 200 delegates will be handed out over the next month, while 437 delegates are up for grabs on “Super Tuesday.”