Despite signs that he could lose the important Florida primary on Tuesday, Newt Gingrich, who picked up the endorsement of a former opponent, Herman Cain, pledged Saturday to stay in the nominating race until the very end, telling reporters he would press on until the Republican convention in Tampa in August.

“I will go all the way to the convention,” Gingrich told reporters after a rally at a golf course here. “I expect to win the nomination.”

Gingrich alluded to two polls that he said showed him ahead, but it is the state polls that count, and in Florida they show him lagging 8 or 10 percentage points behind Mitt Romney.

Later, at a West Palm Beach County Republican dinner, Gingrich accepted the endorsement of Cain, the former business executive who ended his own presidential campaign in early December. Cain, sharing the stage with Gingrich, said he understood the “sausage grinder” of a presidential campaign and was inspired by Gingrich, who has been pilloried by many in his party who are worried that if he became the nominee, he would lose to President Barack Obama in November.