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Obama continues to lead in Florida

Raleigh, N.C. – Obama is in a decent position to once again win the key swing state of
Florida. Obama leads all potential Republican opponents by a greater margin than his 51-
48 victory over John McCain in 2008. Obama leads Mitt Romney by the narrow margin
of 47-43 (up from 46-44 in March). Obama achieves larger margins against all others
leading Tim Pawlenty 48-40, Michele Bachmann 49-40, Herman Cain 48-37, and Sarah
Palin 52-40 (52-39 in March).

Obama leads despite only tepid approval among Florida voters. Only 48% of Floridians
approve of Obama while 49% disapprove. As is true across the country, the unpopularity
of the GOP candidates makes up for Obama’s weak numbers. Bachmann, perhaps
boosted by favorable coverage from her last debate, is the most popular Republican
candidate, breaking close to even with a 36-37 favorability rating. She is followed by
Romney at 41-45, Cain at 25-33, Pawlenty at 19-39, and Palin at 37-58.

Marco Rubio starts his term off with a decent approval rating; 42% of Florida voters
approve while 35% disapprove. With Rubio’s solid numbers and position in a key swing
state, the eventual Republican nominee may be tempted to add him to the ticket. This is
unlikely to be a big help in Florida though. Only 31% of voters say Rubio as VP would
make them more likely to support the GOP, while 35% say it would make them less
likely, and 34% say it would make no difference. Worse for the GOP, the tenure of
Governor Rick Scott appears to be an unambiguous problem for their chances. 26% of
Floridians say Rick Scott has made them more likely to support the GOP, while 40% say
it makes them less likely to and 34% claim it makes no difference.

“Florida’s pretty emblematic of Barack Obama’s current postion,” said Dean Debnam,
President of Public Policy Polling. “Voters there aren’t in love with him but when they
look at the Republican alternatives and they look at what Rick Scott’s done while in
office as Governor he starts to not look so bad.”

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