Obama, Nelson back on top in Florida, poll showsby John Kennedy | June 21st, 2012
With independent voters shifting to his side, President Obama has regained the lead in Florida over presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, while in the Florida Senate race, Democrat Bill Nelson would edge Republican Connie Mack, a poll Thursday shows.
The Quinnipiac University survey showed Obama with a 46-42 percent lead over Romney, reversing its own May poll that showed the Republican with the advantage in the nation’s biggest toss-up state.
Independent voters, which a month ago were siding more with Romney, have shifted toward Obama, who now holds a 46-37 percent advantage in those not allied with either party.
“At this point, Romney is not well-defined in the minds of many voters, especially those in the middle,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll. “This movement reflects that uncertainty among voters who are up for grabs.”
Florida’s U.S. Senate race also appears up-for-grabs. The survey’s release coincided with the departure of Republican George LeMieux from the race, whose dropping out appears to clear the nomination path for Mack, already the clear frontrunner.
Mack was supported by 41 percent of Republican voters in the survey, with neither remaining rivals, former Army Col. Mike McCalister or former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon cracking double digits.
Nelson, seeking a third term in the Senate, still tops Mack by 43-39 percent, Quinnipiac found. Mack and Nelson were tied in the school’s May survey.
Brown said the “projected November election between U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Mack looks like it could go down to the wire.”
“Sen. Nelson gets modest reviews from voters who give him a 47 – 32 percent job approval rating,” Brown said. “By 46 – 33 percent they say he deserves another term. He gets a 44 – 26 percent favorability rating. By comparison, Mack has a 34 – 22 percent favorability rating, with 42 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.”
The telephone survey was conducted June 12-18 and included 1,697 registered voters. It has a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 2.4 percentage points.