Bin Laden bounce? Obama’s approval up in Florida; Nelson has big Senate leadby George Bennett | May 26th, 2011
It’s Quinnipiac’s first Florida survey since Obama ordered the May 1 raid in Pakistan that killed Islamist terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.
“Whether these numbers represent a ‘bin Laden bounce,’ President Barack Obama’s popularity is up in Florida, which will be a crucial state for him in the 2012 campaign,” said Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown. “The good news for the president is that by 50 – 44 percent Florida voters say Obama deserves a second term in the Oval Office, compared to April when they said 51 – 42 percent that he did not.”
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, meanwhile, holds leads of at least 20 percent in hypothetical match-ups against each of the three Republicans vying to challenge him in 2012: Mike Haridopolos, George LeMieux or Adam Hasner.
The poll shows 64 percent of Republican primary voters undecided in the Senate race, with former appointed Sen. LeMieux getting 14 percent support, Senate President Haridopolos garnering 13 percent and former state House Majority Leader Hasner of Boca Raton getting 4 percent.
The poll of 1,193 registered voters was taken May 17-23 and has a 2.8 percent margin of error. The Republican sample has a 4.6 percent margin of error.
Obama has had negative job approval ratings among Floridians for the past year, with the exception of an August 2010 poll that showed opinion split at 47 percent.
The president’s upswing is due largely to independent voters, who disapproved of Obama by a 55-to-39 percent margin last month but approve by a 47-to-45 percent margin this month. Democratic support for Obama went from 79 percent in April to 86 percent this month. Republicans were unmoved, with 84 percent disapproving and 13 percent approving in both April and May.
Voters in the new survey also say, by a 50-to-44 percent margin, that Obama deserves reelection in 2012. In April, 51 percent said the president did not deserve to be reelected.
Voters approve of Nelson’s job performance by a 51-to-24 percent margin and freshman Republican Sen. Marco Rubio‘s performance by a 49-to-26 percent margin.
Other poll highlights:
* 61 percent of Floridians favor increasing offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, with 34 percent opposed.
* 56 percent say the U.S. should not be involved in Afghanistan, with 34 percent saying the U.S. role is “the right thing.”
* 57 percent oppose the U.S. involvement in Libya, with 33 percent supportive.
* By a 49-to-41 percent margin, Floridians continue to support repeal of the federal health care law. That’s the same score as last month, and comparable to the 50-to-43 percent margin that favored repeal in February.