ROMNEY UP IN FLORIDA – AT 8:55 A.M. ET: Florida will be one of the great battleground states of the upcoming election, along with Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and some others. A new poll shows Mitt Romney with a solid lead in the sunshine state.
Gov. Mitt Romney holds a 47 - 41 percent lead over President Barack Obama in Florida, where 63 percent of voters say the president's support of same-sex marriage will not affect their vote, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 25 - 11 percent of voters, including 23 - 9 percent among independent voters, say Obama's support of gay marriage makes them less likely to support his candidacy.
Adding Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to the GOP ticket would give the Republican Romney/Rubio team a 49 - 41 percent lead over President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Romney's lead in the horse race compares to a 44 - 43 percent tie in a May 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University and a 49 - 42 percent Obama lead March 28.
Florida registered voters say 52 - 44 percent that the president does not deserve a second term in the Oval Office and by 52 - 44 percent give him a thumbs-down on his job approval.
"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 A. Brown, assistant vice president of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
COMMENT: These polls will change both ways over time. A result like this, though, might have an effect on Romney's vice-presidential choice. A main reason for choosing Senator Marco Rubio of Florida would be to capture that state. But if the state seems to be falling into the GOP column, even without Rubio, Romney might be tempted to pick someone else, like Senator Rob Portman of Ohio or Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.
The poll was taken among registered voters. A poll among likely voters might show an even stronger result for Romney, as "likely voter" surveys usually show greater Republican support.
May 23, 2012