June 21, 2012 at 11:36 am
President Obama has a four-point lead over Mitt Romney in the Sunshine State, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. The survey found that 46 percent of registered voters polled say they support Obama, compared to 42 percent for Romney
Last month’s Quinnipiac poll, which came under fire from Democrats for sampling flaws, had Romney with a six-point lead over Obama.
A shift in independents from Romney to Obama appears to be a contributing factor in Obama’s improved numbers. In last month’s poll, Romney was favored by a 44 to 36 percent margin among independent voters. Today’s survey has Obama favored 46 to 37 percent among the crucial independent voting bloc.
The overall picture in Florida is positive for Obama, especially compared to the May Q-poll. Though the two candidates run neck-and-neck among men, Obama leads among female voters by 10 points, 49 percent to 39 percent. Last month’s poll had the two candidates virtually tied among female voters.
Obama posts a 10-point lead among Hispanics, up from than last month when Obama and Romney were virtually tied among the group.
Obama’s approval ratings have improved to 47 percent, up from 44 percent. Voters are now split evenly on whether Obama deserves to be re-elected, up from 52 percent who said last month that he did not deserve re-election.
Meanwhile, Romney’s ratings slipped significantly. Just 39 percent of voters have a favorable opinion him, compared to 44 percent in May.
While voters give Romney a 4-point lead on the question of who would do a better job on the economy, they split evenly when asked who would create more jobs.
“At this point, Romney is not well-defined in the minds of many voters, especially those in the middle. This movement reflects that uncertainty among voters who are up for grabs,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute,
There are still reasons for Obama to be wary: Obama’s share of the vote is below the 50 percent threshold. Romney has an advantage among older voters, leading in Florida’s crucial 55-plus demographic, 48 to 43 percent.
Brown Continues To Say Gay Marriage Mattered In May
Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown said a possible reason for Obama’s improved numbers could be due to the fact that the May poll was taken in the aftermath of the president’s gay marriage announcement. However, if last month’s poll– the one taken after Obama’s announcement– indicated anything it was that the issue had very little impact either way in determining how Floridians will vote in November.
According to the May Q-poll, by a 50 to 40 percent margin, Florida voters oppose same-sex marriage, but 63 percent of those polled said Obama’s support of gay marriage would not affect their vote. Nearly half of Florida voters polled said gay marriage is not important at all. Asked how important the issue of same-sex marriage would be in November, 54 percent of independent answered “not important.”
More than the marriage issue, Obama’s spike could be due to the May poll’s sample, which came under fire from Democrats who said the survey’s demographic breakdown did not mirror registration numbers. Democrats hold roughly a 40-36 percent registration edge over Republicans in Florida; but Quinnipiac’s weighted sample was 34 percent Republican and 31 percent Democrat.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted between June 12 and June 18, with 1,697 registered voters in Florida questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.