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Florida Poll Romney 51, Obama 44

Florida Poll Romney 51, Obama 44

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Published by: tuffstuff49 on Oct 12, 2012
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Times/Bay News 9/Herald exclusive Florida poll:Romney 51, Obama 44
ByAdam C. Smith, Times Political EditorPublished Thursday, October 11, 2012Barack Obama's lackluster debate performance last week has dramatically altered the presidential race in Florida, with Mitt Romneyopening up a decisive 7 percentage point lead, according to a new
Tampa Bay Times 
 /Bay News 9/ 
Miami Herald 
poll.The survey conducted this week found 51 percent of likely Florida voters supporting Romney, 44 percent backing Obama and 4percent undecided. That's a major shift from a month ago when the same poll showed Obama leading 48 percent to 47 percent —and a direct result of what Obama himself called a "bad night" at the first debate.The debate prompted 5 percent of previously undecided voters and 2 percent of Obama backers to move to Romney. Another 2percent of Obama supporters said they are now undecided because of the debate."There's no question in my mind that debate made people stand up and pay attention, and it really wiped away any questions peoplehad about Romney, whether they were undecided or soft for Obama," said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, whichconducted the poll for the
Times 
and its media partners.Across the board, from who is better suited to improve the economy, to who will protect Medicare, to looking out for the middle-class,to handling foreign policy, likely Florida voters now favor the former Massachusetts governor over the president."It's a very big shift since the debate, and where the shifts are taking place are very, very interesting because they are the types ofshifts you see in Florida when something starts to break one way or another," said Coker, likening it to when Ronald Reagan shotpast Jimmy Carter in 1980.Take Tampa Bay, the battleground region that invariably mirrors statewide results. A month ago, Obama had a 4 percentage pointlead in Tampa Bay. This week, Romney led by 8 percent, 52 to 44. In Central Florida, Romney now leads by 6 points.Likewise, Obama's lead among likely women voters in Florida fell from 15 percentage points last month to just 2 points, 49 percentfor Obama and 47 percent for Romney.Obama's once 11 point lead among likely independent voters had cascaded into a 13 point lead for Romney this week, 52 percent to39 percent.The poll found little change among Florida youngest voters, 18-34, or oldest voters, 65 and up. But those ages 35 to 64, who hadbeen evenly divided a month ago, moved dramatically to the Republican nominee. Romney now has a nine point lead among votersage 35-49 and a 15 point lead among those between 50 and 64.Especially ominous were the numbers for Hispanic voters, a demographic where the Obama campaign is banking on an advantageof at least 15 percentage points. The poll showed 44 percent of likely Hispanic voters favoring Obama and 46 for Romney, thoughthe margin of error is higher with that smaller group of voters."We ran away from other countries in search of a more traditional United States," said Coral Gables resident Mary Gonzalez, whoimmigrated from Venezuela. "I think with the current president, the United States moves to (the left). And with Romney, I believe hecan return the United States to its traditional course."The bottom line? Obama appears to be in serious trouble in America's biggest battleground state. He has two debates and 25 daysto turn it around, but the poll points to a race that had been close and stable for months shifting significantly toward the Republicannominee.
Times/Bay News 9/Herald exclusive Florida poll: Romney 51, Obama 44...http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/timesbay-news-9herald...1 of 310/11/2012 7:15 PM
 
"You cant say it's over, but if nothing changes — no major gaffes, no big stories that come out of nowhere, relatively equal debateperformances where nobody really outdoes the other — I think Florida is going to fall into the Romney column," Coker said. "I thinkonce voters fall off of Obama it's going to be harder for Obama to bring them em back."The telephone survey of 800 registered Florida voters — all likely to vote in the November election — was conducted Oct. 8-10 forthe
Tampa Bay Times 
, Bay News 9,
Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald 
and Central Florida News 13. The poll, which includedrespondents using land-lines and cell phones, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.Not all the polling news was bleak for Obama Thursday. An Oct. 7-9 NBC News/ 
Wall Street Journal 
 /Marist Florida poll foundsignificantly different results, with Obama leading Romney among likely Florida voters 48 percent to 47 percent, and well ahead ofRomney among women. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.A couple differences between the Marist poll and Mason-Dixon: Mason-Dixon, which has been polling in Florida for 28 years, uses asurvey sample based on people's voter actual registration to match the electorate in Florida, while Marist uses a sample based onwhether people say they consider themselves a Republican, Democrat or independent. About 20 percent of the likely voters in theMarist poll were Hispanic, while 13 percent were Hispanic in the Mason-Dixon poll, more in line with the Florida voting patterns.Marist had Obama leading among Hispanics 47 percent to 45 percent.The average of recent Florida polls compiled by RealClearPolitics, without the latest Times poll included, shows a dead even race,47.5 percent for Romney and 47.5 percent for Obama.The
Times 
poll "is just not rooted in reality," senior Obama adviser David Plouffe said Thursday. "We got 57 percent of the Latinovote, according to exit (polls) last time. We think we'll probably push 60 or above this time."Plouffe told the
imes the Obama campaign believes it leads in Florida by a percentage point or two and that it's floor of support inthe state is at least 47 percent: "It's impossible for us to be at 44 in Florida."But even fans of Obama are shaking their heads about his debate last week.North Port resident Virginia Leonard, 92 is a registered Republican who voted for McCain four years ago, but is firmly in Obama'scamp this time. Still, she wondered if Obama had been drugged he was so lethargic in the debate.Democrat Dora Williams, a 71-year-old St. Petersburg retiree, also supports Obama but was taken aback by the debate."I was like, 'Ooh, why didn't he speak up?' But he was caught by surprise so I understand that," she said. "When somebody is lyingto your face, you can be caught off guard."Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson appears to be a non-factor in Florida, with just 1 percent backing him or any other third partycandidate.Florida voters were closely divided on the president's job performance last month, but this week the poll found 54 percent disapproveof his performance and 44 percent approve. Forty five percent have a favorable view of Obama and 49 percent an unfavorable view,while 50 percent have a favorable view of Romney and only 38 percent an unfavorable view.Fifty four percent see the country heading on the wrong track and 41 percent say it's on the right track. Forty four percent say theyare better off today than four years ago and 50 percent said they're not."This man, Obama, has done little, but he has done something. Also keep in mind that the previous president left the country in badshape, and the current president has not had enough time to fix things. We have to give him more time to fix things right," saidLorenzo Ruiz, 84, of Miami.But on key questions Romney has the advantage:• Who do you trust more to improve the economy? Romney 50 percent, Obama 44 percent.• Who do you trust more on foreign policy? Romney 49 percent, Obama 46 percent.• Who do you trust more to look out for the middle class? Romney 50 percent, Obama 47 percent.
Times/Bay News 9/Herald exclusive Florida poll: Romney 51, Obama 44...http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/timesbay-news-9herald...2 of 310/11/2012 7:15 PM

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