Poll: Obama, Nelson still up in Florida — but wild cards aboundby John Kennedy | October 2nd, 2012
A new poll shows President Obama holding a narrow lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Florida — with the state still living up to its toss-up status.
While Obama appeared to be widening his distance over Romney nationwide last week, Suffolk’s survey of 600 registered voters in Florida shows Obama’s 3 percentage point lead remains within the poll’s margin-of-error. Obama was up 46-43 percent, with seven percent of voters undecided.
“On the eve of the first debate, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney know the importance of each percentage point in a state like Florida,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “Not only are the remaining undecided voters critical, but so are the voters of all the third-party candidates here – and there are many.”
The Suffolk University/7NEWS (WSVN-Miami) survey is the first taken in Florida this year that includes all 12 of the candidates who qualified to appear as presidential contenders on the Florida ballot.
Libertarian Gary Johnson, Green Party nominee Jill Stein, and Peace and Freedom Party nominee Roseanne Barr were each favored by 1 percent of voters polled. In a state where the George W. Bush and Al Gore’s epic 2000 election deadlock was helped by third-party candidate Ralph Nader, these also-rans could loom as a factor in Florida’s final count.
The Florida Senate race also looks tougher to call in Suffolk’s survey.
Although Democrat Bill Nelson has built a commanding lead in many polls, Suffolk showed him holding a 40-34 percent lead over Republican Connie Mack, with 20 percent of voters still undecided.
Other contenders on the Florida Senate ballot, Chris Borgia and Bill Gaylor, gain 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively, of the vote in the poll.