PPP Poll: Marco Rubio and Condi Rice Help Mitt Romney in Florida

A survey of likely Florida voters released on Tuesday from Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, shows a tight battle to control the Sunshine State with President Barack Obama barely ahead of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, the presumptive Republican candidate -- but the poll also finds that Romney could help win the biggest swing state in the nation with the right vice presidential candidate.

The poll shows Obama taking 48 percent while Romney is right on his tail with 47 percent with 5 percent remaining undecided.

“Florida looks like it will once again be among the closest states in the country with neither candidate having a clear advantage there,” said Dean Debnam, the president of PPP.

But Romney’s fortunes in the poll change when U.S. Sen. Macro Rubio, R-Fla., is added to the ticket. While national pundits discount Rubio’s chances of winding up as Romney’s running mate, he helps the former Massachusetts governor in the poll. The Romney-Rubio ticket takes 49 percent while Obama-Vice President Joe Biden follow with 47 percent.

The poll shows that former U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice -- another dark horse to end up on the ticket -- also helps Romney in Florida. The Romney-Rice pairing take 46 percent while Obama-Biden follow with 45 percent.

Other possible running mates do little to help Romney beat Obama in the poll. When matched with Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Romney takes 44 percent while the Democrat incumbents lead with 47 percent. When former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota was included as the running mate, Romney treads water in Florida. Obama-Biden take 46 percent while Romney-Pawlenty follow with 45 percent. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio does the least for Romney. The Obama-Biden pairing take 46 percent while the Romney-Portman ticket garners 42 percent.

The poll of 871 likely Florida voters was taken from July 26-29 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.

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