Poll: Romney gains 5 points to take Fla. lead

A new survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Mitt Romney with a 1-point lead in Florida thanks to strong gains among independent voters.

The poll from the Democratic-affiliated firm finds Romney leading President Obama with 49 percent support to 48 among likely voters. The advantage is the result of a five-point gain for the GOP nominee from late September, when he trailed in the same poll by a 50-46 margin.

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Obama’s 51-40 advantage three weeks before among independent voters is now a Romney 51-43 edge.

The poll shows Obama and Romney’s favorability ratings also moving in opposite directions since the first of their three debates Oct. 3. Romney was widely-considered to have won the first face-off and the candidates will debate again on Tuesday Oct. 16.

Voters now rate Romney positively at 50 percent favorable and 47 unfavorable, a shift from the last poll when he was negative at 44-51.


The last poll put Obama at 51 favorable to 47 unfavorable, and those figures have shifted to 48 positive, 50 negative.

The new PPP survey is only the latest in a slew of polls showing Romney closing the gap in key swing states to within the margin of error and taking the lead in some national polls.

“Mitt Romney has the momentum after his strong debate performance last week, but Barack Obama’s still very much in it,” said Dean Debnam, PPP president, in a statement announcing the poll findings.

The latest Gallup daily tracking poll on Sunday showed the former Massachusetts governor with a 2-point lead nationally, at 49 to 47 percent support.

Other polls have also shown Romney with a lead in Florida, with a Rasmussen survey of likely voters putting the GOP candidate up 4 at 51 to 47 percent. 

A Tampa Bay Times/ Miami Herald/Mason Dixon poll also taken after the first debate had Romney up 7 at 51 percent support to 44, a sharp swing from their September poll which had Obama up 1 at 48 to 47.

Florida with 29 electoral votes is the largest swing-state and one of 12 battlegrounds captured by Obama in 2008 that will likely determine the 2012 race.

The PPP survey was conducted from Oct. 12 to 14 and has a 3-point margin of error.