Mitt Romney Tops 50 Percent in Florida to Lead President Obama by 5 Clear Points

By: Jim Turner | Posted: October 26, 2012 3:55 AM

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney Poll
Florida and its important 29 electoral votes are all but in the Romney camp, according to a Sunshine State News poll of likely voters taken mostly following the third and final presidential debate.

But the parties still have a big challenge ahead in their ground games. Early voting begins Saturday in Florida.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pushed above the 50 percent mark in the poll conducted between Oct. 22 and Oct. 24 by Harrisburg, Pa.-based Voter Survey Service.

Of 1,001 likely Florida voters, 51 percent were ready to vote for Romney to 46 percent for President Obama.

Only 12 percent said the recent debates had any sway on their opinion, with 40 percent of those individuals saying they switched from Obama to Romney and just 22 percent going the other way.

Florida Presidential Preference Poll
“Basically, Romney is winning this race, and the poll confirms the debates have had a big impact on his recent surge,” said VSS President Jim Lee.

“The fact that Romney as the “challenger” is already at 51 percent is a huge indication this race is all but over -- undecided voters aren’t like to break for the incumbent in this kind of environment.”

The results run similar to many other recent polls for Florida conducted by:

Rasmussen, 52 percent to 46 percent for Romney;

CNN, 49 percent to 48 percent for Romney;

PPP, 48 percent to 47 percent for Romney;

Gravis Marketing, 50 percent to 49 percent.

A Newsmax poll put the contest at 48 percent to 42 percent for Obama.

University of South Florida political science professor Susan Macmanus said the contest will ultimately come down to how the campaigns are able to get their voters to show up and cast ballots.
“Polls can never predict turnout,” Macmanus said.

She said political observers will have a better grasp on Florida after the early voting period begins this weekend and turnout numbers can be seen in urban areas such as Tampa and Orlando, which are expected to be strengths for Obama.

“Much has been touted about the superior organization of the Obama campaign, but we will have a better look at it in the next few days,” Macmanus said.

Meanwhile, the state, as of Thursday morning, had already received 1.05 million absentee ballots back from voters, of which 468,417 are from registered Republicans and 414,343 from registered Democrats, according to the Division of Elections.

According to the VSS poll results, in which 50 percent of those contacted labeled themselves conservative and the rest evenly split as liberal or moderate, Romney is winning the argument about jobs creation by a 2-1 margin, and even on international issues by a 51 percent to 44 percent margin.

Lee said the internal results suggest Romney’s debate performance at Lynn University in Boca Raton helped and that the fallout from the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya continues to drag on Obama.

They are also important “because national polling earlier this year showed Obama had stolen the long GOP-held honor of the party best able to fight terrorism and deal with international issues,” Lee added.

Romney has a 15 percentage-point margin with men, with Obama having a 5 percentage-point edge with women voters.

While Obama continues to win with young and black voters, he is underperforming from his 2008 victory with suburban, women and Hispanic voters.

The poll also suggests that Obama may be losing some support in the black community, as 21 percent of the respondents identifying themselves as African-American plan to vote for Romney.

Lee noted that while some polls using "live" pollsters have pushed Obama numbers above 90 percent among black voters, those using automated polls have shown a more diverse outcome.

“This would suggest perhaps Obama won't be on track to get 95 percent of the black vote this time, but only 90 percent or even less.”

The numbers give Romney expected advantages in the Panhandle and Southwest Florida, while holding leads in the critical I-4 corridor, which went for Obama in 2008.

Meanwhile, while Obama continues his lead in Southeast Florida, the numbers are down from 2008.

Lee noted that Palm Beach County, which Obama carried by 23 points four years ago, now appears as a 12-point advantage for the president.

See the cross-tabs and methodology for this poll in the attachments below.

The margin of error for a sample size of 1,001 interviews is +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.


Comments (98)

2:58PM OCT 26TH 2012
"The Salt Lake Tribune the main newspaper in Mormon Utah"... Are you kidding me!... Everyone in Utah knows that the Salt Lake Tribune is left leaning newspaper, it fact the Salt Lake tribune was created to be an anti-mormon newspaper in Utah. So to say that "no one knows you like your home folks" guess what?... Romney is getting 65% + of the votes in Utah. And we do know who Romney is, just look at his family and kids and tell me what kind of a man he really is. How you are at home does how you are everywhere.
2:33PM OCT 26TH 2012
Frank, FWIW, The Messiah won N.C. by 14k votes in '08, less than 1% of the vote. Romney should take N.C. this time by 3-5 points. In S.C. McCain beat the Messiah by 9%; Romney will likely take S.C. by 13-18 point advantage...

Your savior Obama is controlled by George Soros! Obama is the puppet and Soros is the Puppeteer!
12:37PM OCT 26TH 2012
No, you're pathetic. And NY, DC, UT and NC (I should know, I live in Charlotte) aren't battleground states. We are kicking O's tail all over NC.
11:48AM OCT 26TH 2012
Does any self respecting pollster really think Republican turnout will be 50%? This poll is a joke, I don't think that the race is better than a tie. I wish the media would quit giving so much coverage to polls and let the voters vote. Any statistician can manipulate data to give any number of results.
2:27PM OCT 26TH 2012
Jimmy you just don't realize the depths to which this president is despised by the majority of Americans especially conservatives
Republican turnout will not be 50%, it will be 95% or better.
Obama supporter
11:52AM OCT 26TH 2012
If you look at Real Clear Politics, this poll is unfortunately right in line with the others. That's why Obama supporters need to get off their couches and vote!
2:31PM OCT 26TH 2012
off their couches is a very telling statement.
2:19PM OCT 26TH 2012
Absolutely! Common O supporters, we need you to vote on the second Tuesday in November!
Bob Jensen
11:41AM OCT 26TH 2012
This poll uses an robo precorded method. Robo-call pollsters are proibeted by law from contacting cell phone users. Cell-phone only users are now up to 40-50% of all phone users and when you disqualify 40% of the lectorate from even participating in the polls that are unreliable. That 21% of black voters support Romney disqualifies this poll. There are only two Florida polls in the last month that conducted live interviews with both land-line and cell-phone only users and showed a much closer race than this poll.
11:26AM OCT 26TH 2012
Clearly Romney has the advantage judging by the avg of polls and the recent momentum. His performances in the debates showed that he has the discipline, focus, and flexibility to be able to work with both sides of the isle and accomplish meaningful legislation. The last debate illustrated the condescending disdain President Obama has for anyone that may have a differing opinion. While Romney showed he can rise above the personal attacks and pettiness required to lead a divided country. Independents and women are realizing the demonization of Romney and blame is not a plan for the future. The debates effectively underscored the Gov Romney is fit to be President.
Young Herschel
1:14PM OCT 26TH 2012
^^^ Barack beat the brakes of Mitt in the last debate!!! Do you honestly think losing and lying his way thru most of the presidential debates,has earned Mitt 21% of Florida's black vote?!?

NEWSFLASH: Most people gravitate towards champions and winners which explains how Mitt got such a big bounce in the polls after the 1st debate - He was assertive and informed and he came across as a champion/winner.

No way he got over TWENTY PERCENT of Florida's black poll participants to support his presidency after losing 3 out of 4 presidential debates, his last performance was his absolute worse!!!
10:42AM OCT 26TH 2012
Why would you do a poll that only samples 15% liberals?

Having 50% Conservatives and the rest mostly Moderates in a poll is like going to the GOP convention and asking who supports a Republican for President.

This poll is useless and shouldn't be put in a News Paper that takes itself seriously.

AND I"M A REPUBLICAN !!!!! .... I think Mitt is up by maybe a point or two no more.
2:48PM OCT 26TH 2012
I see your concern but 15% is pretty normal in self identification. Most democrats describe themselves as moderate not liberal. Republicans aren't shy of saying they are conservative, so you end up with many more conservatives than liberals even though the number of republicans and democrats may be roughly similar. This is bourn out in every poll.
10:36AM OCT 26TH 2012
It's all about the economy and keeping this nation strong.

What Obama did was essentially what a financial identity thief would do - take all your credit cards and max them out for himself and his friends, leaving you to clean up the mess.

Why would anybody vote for Obama? This is what he did - brink America to the brink of financial ruin. Now, we are beholden to China. That's not a good place to be.

Romney is the only person that can fix America.
10:09AM OCT 26TH 2012
Interesting when you use a republican pollster who has an obvious bias. Please also report who Steve Dull is if you want to be credible and who he has and is working for.
R Priest
10:07AM OCT 26TH 2012
A key word missing from the methodology here is "random." Random sampling and representative sampling (AKA non-scientific sampling - or - weighted sampling) are two very different things. Was this a survey based on random sampling or not?
R Priest
10:07AM OCT 26TH 2012
A key word missing from the methodology here is "random." Random sampling and representative sampling (AKA non-scientific sampling - or - weighted sampling) are two very different things. Was this a survey based on random sampling or not?
10:07AM OCT 26TH 2012
To Jeff Willis, US oil production is surging under Obama. We're set to overtake Saudi Arabia. This is where Obama IS taking America. So clearly you're not looking at facts to decide your choice but instead inventing a false reality to justify your predetermined choice.

Just google American Oil Production and you'll see the level of increases in our oil production has shocked experts.
12:41PM OCT 26TH 2012
Please pull your head out of your arse! Didn't you watch the debates? The only reason US oil production is up is because of the surge on PRIVATE land! Obama has CUT permits on gov't land! Romney called him on it and asked him what percentage he had cut permits on gov't land and he WOULDN'T ANSWER THE QUESTION! Stop lying to yourselves, libs!
4:48PM OCT 26TH 2012
"The only reason US oil production is up"

So, you just said US oil production is up, yes?

Where, exactly? And where do you get your information? Please share.
2:22PM OCT 26TH 2012
Don't waste your energy on these libs. They will never concede that their policies have never worked and their savior is on the ropes.
Romney is going to win in a surprise landslide the likes of which will blow the pants off Obama supporters.
8:04PM OCT 30TH 2012
So funny. Republican policies have just about destroyed the country and you want more of it. Obama took the country from the brink of disaster, 6000 dow, 11% unemployment, -4 growth, to 13000 dow 7.8% employment and 2% growth and he's the [filtered word] up? You people need to admit your racism. Just be honest. I can live with that. But all the gyrations and machinations you work through just so you don't have to admit to yourself that you are the worst kind of American, is pathetic and makes you look even more like the fool that you are.
10:08AM OCT 26TH 2012
Adding a small footnote to your researched findings:

The US was a NET exporter of oil last year.
9:57AM OCT 26TH 2012
I just noticed by opening up the cross-tabs, that this poll is by Susquehanna. The same pollster who put Romney ahead by 4 points in PA, last week. This is just well-disguised marketing material, folks.
9:53AM OCT 26TH 2012
Obama and his followers take the country from the Republicans mess , that the same program and advisers Mitt is running on. America wake up don't be flush. How many tourists were come here when last Republicans were in charge no one don't wanna come here. America became a country where only war was the answer of diplomatic dispute. America favorabity rate was down under Republican administration. Jeff Willis was you sleeping when that happened or you have a short memory?
Bill Jeffers
3:16PM OCT 26TH 2012
Learn to speak and write english or move to Venezuela. Chavez needs people like you.
7:59PM OCT 30TH 2012
Sick bigot.
Adam B
9:52AM OCT 26TH 2012
My only reservations about this poll is that it greatly differs from other polls in African American support for Obama and support for Obama's foreign policy. In addition when most other polls say Obama won the debate how did so many switch from Obama to Romney?
Adam B
9:55AM OCT 26TH 2012
In addition, automated polls are not very accurate compared to live polling. Yet this article emphasizes them over live polling.
10:15AM OCT 26TH 2012
well you've all seen this before, but its true:

The only poll that counts is Nov 6th.

I agree, these results are suspicious. Like Jack Welch said about the 7.8% unemployment, something just doesn't smell right.
Gary Meyers
4:51PM OCT 26TH 2012
It smells pretty sweet from where I'm sitting!!
9:43AM OCT 26TH 2012
Curious how the article "conveniently" ignored Florida polls that show Obama leading Romney. The latest Grove/PNA poll, for example, shows Romney not only trailing but the gender gap widening.
10:12AM OCT 26TH 2012
Hi Dave,
I don't have a dog in this fight but I can at least explain why someone may consider the Grove poll to be an outlier. The samples are weighted heavily to the Democrat side past the point of reason and the person at PNA who is responsible for the polls is Ethan Axlerod (David's son). This is a conflict of interest at best, and in all likelihood an attempt to affect opinion rather than report on it.
Obama voter
9:42AM OCT 26TH 2012
Romney is going to screw everyone.
We all agree the situation in America is bad, but between the 2 options, Obama and Romney - I would pick Obama.

Romney has nothing to offer, he can say "we cannot afford 4 more years like this" but 4 more years with him would be a disaster!!

At least stocks picked up and as a stocks trader I'd rather see Obama in place... besides isn't this Ronney candidate painted with his real personality as a thief? Check this out:

Gary Meyers
4:54PM OCT 26TH 2012
It's pretty plain to see why you are an Obama voter after the last 4 years.

Just plain ignorant!
10:34PM OCT 26TH 2012
You are plain ignorant also. Romney and his wife made 15 million dollars. You are a dumb ass
Bill Jeffers
3:18PM OCT 26TH 2012
Romney is a proven businessman. He offers financial wisdom Obama and any other socialist/communist does not have or want to have. I will pay no more money to a socialist government that induces "forced sharing" of my hard earned wealth. We will settle this in the streets.
7:55PM OCT 30TH 2012
Moron. How did you make it this far? Or do you keyboard commando from your parents basement. Pass the Cheetos!
9:24AM OCT 26TH 2012
I cannot believe Florida doesn't back Obama for all he has done for Medicare. Romney pushes jobs to China and will get rid of everything that Obama worked so hard for seniors and Medicare. Wake up Florida before it is too late. Vote Obama
Gary Meyers
4:55PM OCT 26TH 2012
Is that all you have? Scare tactics?
7:47PM OCT 30TH 2012
The truth is scary, isn't it. You'd better hope Rmoney isn't elected. Otherwise, let me say in advance - I told you so! (LITTLE CONSOLATION)
jeff willis
7:31AM OCT 26TH 2012
Florida's number one industry is tourism. Common sense would dictate that Stephen Chu's aspiration for "nine dollar per gasoline prices" would be a disaster. Yet, this is where Obama and his crowd want to take the country!

High gasoline prices equal less travel by car. Everyone can't fly! High speed trains and electric cars are not practical in 2012. They might be in 2032 but not today.

Families, who have made up the bulk of vacationers to Florida, travel by car. If they can't afford the gasoline, they won't come!

The United States has huge petroleum resources. We should use them! Not only will they stabilize energy prices. They will create millions of high paying jobs! Not to mention boost national security!

From Florida's standpoint, high paying jobs in Wyoming, Colorado and Ohio will translate to more visitors. Everyone needs their "fun in the sun," time after all! When they have money in the pockets and gas costs two dollars a gallon, it becomes more attainable!

Obama offers a plan that would wreck Florida's economy. The Romney alternative would produce the exact opposite effect.
10:10AM OCT 26TH 2012
if gas is headed for $9.00 per gallon, whether its romney or obama won't make much difference. Oil (and gas) are a world commodity and world markets determine value and price.
Chose your presidential candidate vote on something they will do different. eg, obamacare or not; women's rights; conservative social issues; supreme court justice nominations.
Curious Voter
9:41AM OCT 26TH 2012
Your basically saying you'd trade future sustainable prosperity for temporary prosperity today. That short sided approach preferred by Republicans is what has put the united states in a hole, both economically and educationally.
3:45PM OCT 26TH 2012
Sorry curious. You're wrong on both account. Economically, the Democrats have let the capitalist cronies and environmental wackos take over and they helped pass all types of laws and regulations to restrict our development of fuels and banking systems, WHICH would help the economy on both accounts. In education, the majority of teachers have been indoctrinated by the trash communist hippies that screwed up the the 60's, became teachers and swarmed our education system with all their socialist and communist propaganda. Now their disciples, today's teachers, are running those same institutions.
9:49AM OCT 26TH 2012
Hit the nail on the head. It's STUNNING how little people talk about what YOU said: that developing ALL of our non-renewable sources TODAY and IGNORING renewable sources of energy, only kicks the can of energy issues down the road, to the future.

Mind, am not asserting that we have great cost-effective renewable sources to tap into, today. We do have renewable sources. Cost effectiveness needs work. But this is the dialog that needs to happen, not the NONSENSE that Romney is talking about.
9:32AM OCT 26TH 2012
The Republican plan is to try to cut the debt immediately.
This will send the economy back into recession
(same thing just happened in the UK) and no one will be coming
for vacation to Florida. Paying off debt is good, but do
it while the economy is not in recession (like Clinton did)
not now.
10:57AM OCT 26TH 2012
Are people on this board smoking something? Obama said he would cut spending line by line for everyone to see. I dont recall this happening. He also said he would work accross the aisle, yet shoved Obamacare down those repubs throats before immigration reform since he controlled congress. His excuse for the gas being so high is that the economy was in shambles? How stupid is that answer? Where do you thing they are getting the funding from Obamacare? Yep, Medicare-
Cmon i thought Florida had more independants than socialist voters, guess I was wrong.

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