Poll: Romney, Huckabee lead Obama in swing state Florida

President Obama's reelection effort could fall short in Florida if he ends up facing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the general election, according to a new poll.

Both Romney and Huckabee would beat Obama in the key swing state if the election were held today, said a Sachs/Mason Dixon poll released Monday.

Forty-eight percent of Florida voters would elect Romney over Obama in a hypothetical matchup. Forty-three percent of Floridians would prefer a second term for Obama.

Huckabee would best Obama 49-44 percent, according to the poll, making him and Romney the candidates tested in the poll who would fare best against the incumbent president.

By contrast, Obama enjoys healthy advantages over former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and real estate mogul Donald Trump. Obama would beat Trump 48-40 percent, and Palin 51-39 percent.

Dragging on the president is a poor favorability rating in the Sunshine State. Forty-three percent of voters said they approve of the way Obama is handling his job, while 56 percent disapprove.

Obama won Florida in 2008 with 51 percent of the vote to Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 48 percent. His fate in 2012 will likely hinge on the eventual Republican nominee.

Florida's Republicans had pushed for an early primary date relative to the rest of the cycle, reasoning that the state's GOP voters were most representative of the general populace.

If that's true, Romney has the edge right now in seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

Twenty-three percent of Republican primary voters would choose Romney as the nominee, putting him ahead of Huckabee, who recently moved to Florida, at 18 percent. Thirteen percent would prefer Trump, 11 percent want former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), and 8 percent prefer former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

The poll has a 3.5 percent margin of error for all voters, and a 5 percent margin of error for the Republican voter sample.

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