Mitt RomneyNewt GingrichPollingPresident 2012

President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Gingrich Opens Up Large Leads in Florida and South Carolina

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

According to the latest NBC/Marist Poll.

Newt Gingrich’s surge in the polls isn’t limited to just the early presidential-nominating contest of Iowa.

According to new NBC News-Marist polls, the former House speaker has now opened up commanding leads in South Carolina and Florida — two states that historically have played important roles in deciding the eventual Republican nominee.

Fueled by the support from conservatives and the Tea Party, Gingrich is ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by nearly 20 points in South Carolina.  The winner of that state’s primary has gone on to capture each GOP nomination since 1980.

And he leads Romney by double digits in Florida, whose primary ultimately ended up deciding the party’s pick in 2008.

I think this GOP primary race is just about over, unless Gingrich fumbles the ball with some momentous gaffe or something comes out that is very very damaging.

Now, the real questions are whether Newt Gingrich can unite the GOP and win against President Obama in the key battleground states or…..will another candidate come along.