May 23, 2012 at 10:25 am
Mitt Romney now has a six-point lead over President Obama in the Sunshine State, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. According to the survey, 47 percent of registered voters polled say they support Romney, compared to 41 percent for Obama.
The former Massachusetts governor’s standing in Florida has steadily increased since he became the presumptive nominee in late April. A Quinnipiac poll released in early May had Romney and Obama tied in Florida, and in late March, Quinnipiac had the president with a 7-point advantage over Romney in the Sunshine State.
The poll found Romney’s lead would grow slightly— to an 8 percentage-point advantage — if he puts Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on the ticket. About 44 percent have a favorable opinion of Rubio, compared to 36 percent who have a favorable view of VP Biden. About a quarter of voters have an unfavorable view of Rubio.
The latest poll, taken in the aftermath of Obama’s gay marriage announcement, shows the issue will have little impact either way in determining how Floridians will vote in November. By a 50 to 40 percent margin, Florida voters oppose same-sex marriage, but 63 percent say Obama’s support of gay marriage will not affect their vote,
Nearly half of voters say gay marriage is not important at all, while only 22 percent say it’s very or extremely important. About 25-11 percent of voters polled say Obama’s May 9th announcement makes them less likely to support him.
Romney is seen favorably by 45 percent of Florida voters compared to a 35 percent unfavorable, while Obama has a 45 percent favorable, but a 50 percent unfavorable. Meanwhile, 52 percent of those surveyed said Obama does not deserve a second term and a majority– 52 to 44 percent–disapproved of the job he’s doing.
“Gov. Mitt Romney has slipped into the lead in Florida and that standing is confirmed by his much better numbers than the president when voters are asked whether they view the candidates favorably or unfavorably,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.
Also troubling for team Obama: Romney is favored 44 to 36 percent by independent voters, an increasingly critical bloc in Florida’s recent elections. The poll indicates Romney’s other big advantage is the economy. Exactly half of voters say Romney would do a better job on handling the economy, compared to 40 percent who prefer Obama.
“The overall picture in Florida is positive for Romney, who is ahead 50 – 37 percent among men, while women are divided 44 – 45 percent. And the president is getting just 33 percent of white votes, compared to 85 percent of black votes and 42 percent of Hispanic votes,” Brown said.
“Today’s poll makes it clear that voters trust Governor Romney to turn around the economy and make it easier for them to fill up their gas tanks, pay for their groceries, and send their children to college. Floridians are disappointed that President Obama has failed to deliver on the grand promises he made in 2008 and despite his attempts to tax and spend our way to a better future, it’s clear voters know we can’t afford a second term for President Obama,” RNC spokesperson Matt Connelly said in a statement.
The one silver lining for Obama, the poll found, is that voters continue to say he’s more “likable” than Romney. Seventy-six percent say Obama is “likable” compared to 58 percent for Romney.
The poll, which included 1,722 registered Florida voters, was taken from May 15-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percent.