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Romney Takes 6-Point Florida Lead Over Obama; Rubio’s Impact as VP Is Minor

| May 23, 2012

The image above, taken from Mitt Romney's website, is clearly designed to contrast the two candidates in no uncertain terms. The Obama campaign does no less.

Barack Obama’s Republican primary effect is over: while Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney battled it out, damaging their name, the president’s approval rating rose in Florida. No longer. The latest Quinnipiac University poll, among the most consistent polling measures of the Florida electorate, reveals a virtual 180-degree reversal for Obama’s fortunes in Florida.

Romney now holds a 47-41 lead over Obama. Two months ago, Obama led 49-42.

There’s more bad news for Obama: 52 percent of Florida’s registered voters say the president does not deserve a second term in the Oval Office (as opposed to 44 percent who do), and 52 percent give him a negative job approval, as opposed to 44 percent who approve.

“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. They view Romney favorably 44 – 35 percent, while Obama gets a negative 45 – 50 percent favorability,” said Peter Brown, assistant vice president of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “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.”

Florida is one of the keys to a second Obama term, but it is not absolutely essential in the president’s strategy, especially if the presumptive Republican nominee picks Marco Rubio as a running mate. The Quinnipiac poll shows that a Romney-Rubio ticket would help Romney, but it adds only two points to his favorability, which rises to 49 percent. Still: two points in Florida is generally all it takes to tip the state one way or another. In 2008, Obama won Florida with 50.9 percent of the vote, compared to John McCain’s 48.4 percent. In 2004, George W. Bush won the state with 52.1 percent to John Kerry’s 47.1 percent. And in 2000, of course, the margin of victory was a matter of a few hundred votes.

The Quinnipiac poll, released this morning (May 23), also asked registered voters about gay marriage. Florida law already banned gay marriage when voters in 2008 approved a constitutional amendment, with a 63 percent majority, reiterating the ban. Floridians now say they oppose gay marriage 50 – 40 percent. Men oppose same-sex marriage 55 – 35 percent while women are divided 44 – 46 percent. Support is 57 – 33 percent among voters under 35 years old. Opposition is 52 – 38 percent among voters 35 to 54 years old and 55 – 36 percent among voters over 55.

A total of 22 percent of Florida voters say same-sex marriage is “extremely important” or “very important” to their presidential vote, while 26 percent say “somewhat important” and 49 percent say “not important.”

Romney’s opposition to same-sex marriage will not affect their vote, 56 percent of Florida votes say, while 23 percent say it makes them more likely to vote for him and 19 percent say less likely.

“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,” said Brown.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,722 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones were used during the May 15-21 survey period.

A national poll released today by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal has Obama ahead of Romney, 47 to 43 percent. In that poll, NBC reports, “Obama leads Romney among African Americans (88 percent to 2 percent), 18 to 34 year olds (55 percent to 35 percent), women (53 percent to 38 percent), independents (44 percent to 36 percent), and seniors (46 percent to 44 percent). Romney, meanwhile, holds the advantage with whites (52 percent to 39 percent), men (49 percent to 40 percent), suburban residents (47 percent to 41 percent), Midwest residents (48 percent to 43 percent), and high-interest voters (47 percent to 44 percent).”

Real Clear Politics’ national average of polling data has Obama holding a 1.9 point edge over Romney.

May 24 update: In Marist Poll, Obama Is Ahead

While the latest Quinnipiac University poll shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leading in Florida, a separate poll by NBC News and Marist College shows President Barack Obama ahead in Florida in his bid for re-election. According to the NBC-Marist survey, Obama would get 45 percent of the vote in Florida if the election were held today, while Romney would get 40 percent. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden would lead a ticket of Romney and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio by a 48-44 margin, while the gap would close to 47-45 if Romney chose former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The poll also shows incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson beating Republican Congressman Connie Mack, the GOP frontrunner, by a 46-42 margin. Democrats have complained that the Quinnipiac poll is too heavily weighted toward Republicans, but the Marist poll gives a strong edge to Democrats that might not materialize in November: 43 percent of those polled were Democrats, 35 percent were Republicans and 21 percent were independents. The poll was taken of 1,078 registered voters May 17-20 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.–News Service of Florida

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15 Responses for “Romney Takes 6-Point Florida Lead Over Obama; Rubio’s Impact as VP Is Minor”

  1. The Truth says:

    Why anyone pays attention to these polls, I’ll never understand. There is no way that the polls can get the opinion of the vast majority of people. They fluctuate every month because it’s impossible to do so. The only poll that matters is the one in November.

    With that in mind, the people never “win” in politics but in my opinion Obama is the better candidate. This is no knock on Romney or the Republican party as a whole I just feel that Obama is on the right track. We have a long way to go, but Romney as president would be setting us backwards. A republican president got us in this mess, let’s allow a democrat to get us out.

  2. Liana G says:

    A republican got us in this mess with the full backing of the democrats. Romney should forget Rubio and pick Ron Paul. I’ll borrow the now famous line coined by Norton Smitty and say…”Obama is a black face [Romney]”. Hope you don’t mind Norton.

  3. Riley says:

    Do us all a favor, send Rubio to Cuba!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. palmcoaster says:

    Does not surprise me this poll in Florida…..Look what we got for Governor. Now many that voted for him are crying foul!

  5. palmcoaster says:

    I agree with Liana that Romney will make it better with Ron Paul asVP. But I disagree that Obama is a Romnney in colors. Our Prez is far from perfect, but given the alternative…? I also agree with Riley ! We have enough good old boys in saddles, cowboy hats and boots, giving us the run around here, to have to put up with a foreign born trying to stick it to us, as well. Rather be lazo by a cowboy, then!

  6. ric says:

    We, as citizens must get out and vote this November. We MUST get this administration out of the White House before our voting rights are banned. There have been too many signs that should convince everyone If we don’t do it November, we may not get another chance..

  7. Outsider says:

    Before this poll showed Romney out front I told you it’s over. The numbers for Obama are pretty grim, from polling data that matters to the economic picture. Come November Obama will be free to make as much money as he cares to giving speeches, but he’ll have to pay for his plane with his own money. Good riddance.

  8. Dorothea says:

    The definition of insanity is to keep trying to do the same failed thing over and over again and getting the same bad results. Contrary to the pants on fire lying Republican ads and Romney speeches, Obama has kept federal spending at the same flat level during his term of office even with the stimulus package. If anyone wanted to know exactly what kind of idiot Romney is on foreign policy, I hope that you listened to the Colin Powell/Hannity interview on Fox News. Powell .really stuck it to Romney and Hannity. So all you voting Floridians, if you want to return to the George Bush failed policies, vote for Romney, who is touting them all the way. In my opinion only the insane, the ignorant, or flaming racists would want to return to the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

  9. Monster Family says:

    I’m voting for Romney…woot woot!!! And if Mickey Mouse was running against Obama Mickey would have my vote too! ha ha!!

    • another voice says:

      Nothing like voting to cut your own throat and destroy your own birthright. Why not just jump out of a moving car and hope you survive?

  10. another voice says:

    Anyone who votes Republican is out of their minds. Those people want to shred the Constitution and sell America to the highest bidder. Oh, and they want you to go die if you get sick, lest you be a burden on the rest of us.

    And hide your uteruses ladies, because they’ll be crawling inside yours any day now. Your body? Not unless you have testicles…

  11. John Boy says:

    Mitt will use his experience to sell of the National landmarks like the Statute of Liberty , Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. The only way he was successful was to run companies into the ground after mortgaging them to the hilt and extracting every dime of assets, then leaving the skeletons to rot. This is true Vampire Capitalism at it’s worse.He forced companies into bankruptcy and the PBGC had to assume pension obligations for the fired workers who then where force to draw unemployment while Mitt made deposits in his Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts.

  12. palmcoaster says:

    Well said John Boy and another voice!! Sorry I could only give you one like. Otherwise I’ve given you by the dozen.

  13. Liana G says:

    Pray tell what has Obama done different. He has no experience except as a “community organizer/rebel rouser”. He is a Wall Street patsy and has more Wall Street bigwigs employed in his administration. As for his humane qualities. Here is an insightful article from the Economist. And his position at the G8 summit on tackling poverty in South Africa is also worth reading – all about big business capatilisim on the taxpayer dole! Truly a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing. Sickeninhg and disheartening!

    […]”America has long felt free to lecture China—and many other countries too—on its shortcomings and failures in the human-rights department. America having never been entirely free of shortcomings itself, there was ever some degree of hypocrisy in this approach. It has long been the common view in China, among officials and common folk alike, that American criticism depends on keeping “double standards” and that America ought to have questions of its own to answer, about things like discrimination against minorities, the long-ago subjugation of indigenous peoples and economic inequality at home, to say nothing of hegemonic behaviour abroad.”[…]

    But since September 11th 2001 such questions, it would seem, should have become even sharper. Tactics and policies adopted by the administration of George W. Bush (and largely continued by Barack Obama’s), to expand executive power and arbitrary powers of law enforcement, have made them so. Glenn Greenwald of has been a particularly articulate and tenacious cataloguer and critic of these policies. (An American broadcaster, Bill Moyers, has chosen to mark the Memorial Day holiday with a catalogue of his own.)

  14. Dorothea says:


    Seems strange that you reference left-wing blogger and socialist, Glenn Greenwald, while promoting the presidency of Ron Paul. But since Paul’s likelihood of becoming the Republican presidential nominee is remote, I’ll let that pass. Although should your house gets blown to bits by a hurricane don’t call Ron Paul who doesn’t believe that you should get any government assistance.

    I don’t always agree with President Obama’s policies, but comparing Obama’s policies as similar to the hard-line extreme right-wing policies promoted by Mitt Romney, lacks any credence at all and is as analogous as the disparate political philosophies expressed by Ron Paul and Glenn Greenwald.

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