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Poll: Romney Leads Obama in Florida

Poll: Romney Leads Obama in Florida

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - May 23, 2012


Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by six points in the key battleground state of Florida, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Romney attracts 47 percent of the support from registered voters, while Obama garners 41 percent. Having Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on the ticket would give the GOP nominee just a two-point boost, while it would have no impact on the president’s standing. In a Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month, Romney led Obama by just one point.

The president is getting marginal grades from Florida voters: 52 percent disapprove of the way he is handling his job, while 44 percent approve. Notably, by that same margin, voters there do not believe Obama deserves re-election. Fifty-six percent of independents give him a poor grade, while 39 percent say he is doing a fine job. And 54 percent of independent voters don’t think the president has earned a second term while 41 percent think he has. When it comes to the economy, 50 percent of voters find Romney best equipped to handle the situation while 40 percent pick Obama.

Florida voters appear to have a more favorable impression of Romney than they do of Obama. Fifty percent dislike the president while 45 percent have a favorable opinion of him. Thirty-five percent dislike Romney while 44 percent view him favorably, though 19 percent say they haven’t heard enough about him to make a decision.

The former Massachusetts governor leads among independent voters here, 44 percent to 36 percent. The two rivals run about even with each other among women voters, though Obama holds a one-point edge. Romney leads significantly among men, 50 percent to 37 percent. Notably, though, Obama holds only a two-point edge over Romney among Hispanic voters, receiving 42 percent of the support. Republicans need to narrow the near 2-to-1 Latino gap from four years ago to be successful in November. Both the Obama campaign and the RNC have grass-roots efforts in place to attract Hispanic voters.

Romney leads among voters over the age of 55 by 12 points, attracting 51 percent of the support. Obama leads among voters under the age of 34 by 11 points. Romney edges Obama by four points among voters 35-54 years of age.

Florida voters have backed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in the state, but the president’s recent personal endorsement of gay marriage doesn’t appear to have had an impact on the electorate here: 63 percent say the president’s announcement will not affect their vote. Twenty-five percent say Obama’s support of same-sex marriage makes them less likely to vote for him; 11 percent say his position makes it more likely they will vote for him.

On the other side, 56 percent of voters say Romney’s opposition to gay marriage will not have an impact on how they cast their ballots in November, while 23 percent say Romney’s position makes them more likely to vote for him. Nineteen percent say his stance makes them less likely to support his candidacy.

"While the issue of same-sex marriage looks like it affects only one-third of Florida voters, we know from experience what a few votes can mean in the Sunshine State," Peter Brown, assistant vice president of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

Florida has 29 electoral college votes.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,722 registered voters in Florida from May 15-21. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at chueyburns@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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