A poll from NBC News and Marist College of Florida voters released on Thursday shows, in contrast to surveys from Quinnipiac University unveiled this week, President Barack Obama and Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson are slightly ahead of their Republican challengers in the Sunshine State.
While a poll from Quinnipiac showed presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney leading in Florida, the NBC News/Marist poll has Obama taking 48 percent while Romney follows with 44percent.
The poll shows that Obama’s lead in Florida dwindles if the Republicans pick a favorite son of the Sunshine State to serve as Romney’s running mate. The pairing of Obama/Vice President Joe Biden takes 47 percent when former Gov. Jeb Bush is added as Romney’s running mate. In that scenario, a Romney/Bush ticket would take 45 percent.
In contrast to the Quinnipiac poll which showed him expanding Romney’s lead in the state, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., does not add as much support in the NBC News/Marist poll. The Obama/Biden ticket takes 48 percent while the Romney/Rubio pairing follows with 44 percent.
While the Quinnipiac poll showed Obama was upside down in Florida, the new poll has him treading water in the Sunshine State. The poll shows that 48 percent of those surveyed approve of Obama’s job in the White House and 45 percent disapprove of it.
The poll shows Florida voters have mixed thoughts about Romney as well, with 45 percent seeing him in a favorable light and 43 percent in an unfavorable one.
The NBC News/Marist poll finds that Florida voters think Romney would do a better job on handling the national debt but that they think Obama would do better with social issues and foreign policy. In contrast to other polls, this survey shows more voters think Obama would do a better job on managing the economy than Romney does -- with 46 percent thinking the president can better handle it and 44 percent saying Romney.
In the NBC News/Marist poll, Nelson holds the lead over U.S. Rep. Connie Mack who is running for the Republican nomination. Nelson takes 46 percent in the poll while Mack trails with 42 percent. A poll from Quinnipiac released on Thursday showed Mack tacking 42 percent while Nelson followed with 41 percent.
The poll of 1,078 registered Florida voters was taken May 17-20 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
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