Powered by robust support from a variety of voting blocs, President Barack Obama leads presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the perennial battleground of Florida, according to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University released Thursday.
The poll shows Obama earning the support of 46 percent of Sunshine State voters, compared with 42 percent who give the nod to Romney. That amounts to a reversal from Quinnipiac’s previous poll of Florida in late May, when the former Massachusetts governor led the president, 47 percent to 41 percent. The PollTracker Average currently shows a virtual tie between Obama and Romney in Florida.
Although Obama narrowly carried Florida over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008, the state poses some formidable challenges for the incumbent this time around. Florida has been at the epicenter of a number of policies favored by Republicans, including a controversial effort to purge voter rolls of non-United States citizens. A separate installment of the Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday showed that Florida voters are widely supportive of the purge. The state has also been acutely affected by the weak economy, although there has been a slight improvement in Florida’s unemployment rate as of late — something the Romney campaign reportedly asked Republican Gov. Rick Scott to downplay.
Thursday’s poll provided evidence that the Obama campaign’s effort to duplicate its successes of 2008 by galvanizing several different groups of voters is gaining traction in Florida.
From Quinnipiac’s analysis:
In the presidential race, Obama’s lead reflects the coalition that elected him four years ago. He carries women 49 - 39 percent, African-Americans 91 - 5 percent and voters 18 to 34 years old 55 - 28 percent. Obama also leads 48 - 41 percent among voters 35 to 54 years old. Men split 44 - 45 percent. Romney carries white voters 50 - 37 percent and voters over 55 years old 48 - 43 percent.
Independent voters shift from 44 - 36 percent for Romney in a May 23 Quinnipiac University poll, showing Romney ahead 47 - 41 percent overall, to 46 - 37 percent for Obama today. In today’s results, Obama carries Democrats 88 - 4 percent, while Romney takes Republicans 91 - 5 percent.
Quinnipiac University conducted its poll on June 12-18. The poll has a sample size of 1,697 registered Florida voters and a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.