CAPE CANAVERAL - Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney stepped up his campaign in Florida Saturday after a new opinion poll showed he was gaining momentum in a race against archrival Newt Gingrich. With only three days to go until the vital Florida primary, the two rivals barnstormed the huge battleground state which could prove a make-or-break stop in their battle for the Republican Party crown. After a shock defeat by Gingrich in South Carolina last weekend and a slew of attacks, Romney’s campaign got a fresh boost as he bids to be the party’s nominee to take on Democratic President Barack Obama in the November elections. A Quinnipiac University survey showed the former Massachusetts governor at 38-29 percent over former House of Representatives speaker Gingrich in Florida, re-capturing the lead after slipping badly over recent days. The poll of likely Republican voters was taken before the candidates’ televised debate on Thursday, but it indicated the race may be swinging back in favor of multimillionaire businessman and former venture capitalist Romney. “Newt Gingrich’s momentum from his South Carolina victory appears to have stalled and governor Mitt Romney seems to be pulling away in Florida,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Texas congressman Ron Paul, who has done virtually no campaigning in the Sunshine state, was on 14 percent, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum was in fourth place, with 12 percent, the survey said. The field has now narrowed in Florida to a two-man race between Romney and Gingrich, who traded bitter attacks in a debate late Thursday. Gingrich supporters were still firmly behind their man, manning the phones and handing out pamphlets in the final countdown towards Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary here. “The country is underwater, the house is flooded, we want the best plumber regardless of the flaws he can have,” said campaign official Bert Ralston at Gingrich’s Jacksonville headquarters. After a string of debates where he was criticized for lacking passion, Romney came out swinging, rounding on Gingrich for alleging he was against immigrants and dodged his taxes. “We are not anti-immigrant. We are not anti-immigration,” the former Massachusetts governor said.