Photo/FILE Real estate mogul Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for the party’s presidential nomination on February 2, 2012.

Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney got a new poll boost Thursday two days before Nevada’s caucuses, as real estate mogul Donald Trump endorsed him for the party’s presidential nomination.

The former Massachusetts governor, who scored a major win in Florida on Tuesday, was back on track a day after stumbling with an ill-judged remark about poor Americans, as the new Nevada poll gave him a 20 point lead.

The survey of likely Republican voters put Romney on 45 per cent and Gingrich on 25 per cent in the western battleground state, which holds caucuses on Saturday as the GOP poll race spreads west.

But in a new development, Gingrich announced possible party appeal action over the results in Florida, where Romney won big, claiming all its 50 delegates. Gingrich said the delegates should be awarded proportionately.

Romney, who has an estimated $250 million fortune, won the endorsement of real estate mogul and celebrity TV star Trump, who briefly flirted with a presidential run last year.

“Mitt is tough, he’s smart, he’s sharp, he’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love,” Trump said. “Governor Romney, go out and get ‘em, you can do it.”

Romney, whose campaign has been plagued by a string of wealth-related gaffes and issues, betrayed no qualms about accepting the support of a super-rich benefactor at a glitzy Las Vegas press event.

“There are some things that you can’t imagine happening in your life. This is one of them. Being in Donald Trump’s hotel and having his endorsement is a delight,” he said, with wife Ann and Trump standing alongside.

Romney, 64, came second in the first Republican contest in Iowa, then swept the second contest in New Hampshire before Gingrich, 68, thumped him South Carolina in mid-January.

Gingrich’s support however sank fast in Florida, and Romney now has all the momentum.

Nevada Republicans hold caucuses on Saturday to pick 28 delegates to the Republican National Convention in nominating contests in the western US.

AFP

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