According to a new poll by the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald, we can put Florida firmly into Mitt Romney’s column. With just three days left for campaigning, Romney has a 51/45 lead over Barack Obama in a state Obama won by three in 2008. Romney even takes an edge in foreign policy now over Obama:
Florida continues to look good for Mitt Romney. The Republican holds a 6-point lead in the state essential to his hopes of defeating President Barack Obama, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald poll.
The poll shows slight tightening, with Romney’s 51-45 lead down 1 percentage point from the Times’ statewide poll a month ago. …
Still, nearly every key indicator in theTimes’ pre-Election Day poll reveals Romney’s advantage in a state Obama won four years ago.
Florida voters trust Romney more to fix the economy and give him an edge, 50 percent to 48 percent, on who will look out more for the middle class — a stark turn from past months when Obama and his allies unleashed a barrage of TV ads portraying Romney as an out-of-touch corporate raider.
Romney even has a slight advantage on foreign policy, with 2 percent more voters saying they trust him over Obama, who has faced criticism over the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.
The Herald has an interesting analysis, one that confounds the national media narrative. Romney now gets more crossover votes than Obama, contra to the common assumption that independents are proto-Republicans and Romney has trouble with his base:
Romney’s strengths: independent voters and more crossover support from Democrats relative to the Republicans who back Obama, according to the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.
We have to go to Bay News 9 to get the internals from Mason-Dixon. They look pretty good for Romney, as one might imagine with a relatively strong lead. One caveat: the internals do not include the partisan split in the sample.
With that said, let’s dive in. Romney wins the topline 51/45 as noted above, but he’s also winning the gender gap. Romney has a 17-point lead among men, 56/39, while losing women only by two points, 47/49, giving Romney a +15 overall. In 2008, Obama won the gender gap by nine points. Romney also wins independents by six points, down from 13 in the last poll, 49/43; Obama won independents in 2008 by seven, 52/45. Obama wins 4% of Republicans, but Romney wins 14% of Democrats; in 2008, both Obama and John McCain won 12% of each other’s voters. Most interestingly, Obama is narrowly losing the Hispanic vote in Florida, 44/46. He won them by 15 in 2008, 57/42.
On likeability and approval, Obama has sunk underwater, while Romney has begun to soar. Romney’s favorability has ascended to a +19, 53/34, while Obama’s has sunk to a -7, 42/49. Obama’s job approval is -11 at 43/54, with independents rating it 43/55. Even women put his job approval under water, 47/50.
On two key issues, Romney has beaten Obama at his own game. Obama tried to paint Romney as the One Percent while hailing himself as the champion of the middle class. That effort failed, at least in Florida, with Romney winning the middle-class trust vote 50/48, and 51/47 among independents. After Romney added Paul Ryan to the ticket, Obama tried Mediscaring seniors, telling them that Romney and Ryan wanted to kill Medicare. A majority of Florida voters think Obama is doing more harm to Medicare than Romney will by a wide margin, 52/44, 53/43 among independents.
If Obama hopes that early voting will save him in Florida, he’d better expect change instead. Romney leads respondents who have already voted by a 50/47 margin and leads absentee voters 53/45. Romney also has a six-point lead among those who will vote on Tuesday. Looks like Florida is locked up.