Florida a Toss Up in 2012 Race for President, Senate Majority

Mitt Romney at the CNN debate in Jacksonville. Photo: Courtesy of Carmen Russell-Sluchansky.
Mitt Romney at the CNN debate in Jacksonville. Photo: Courtesy of Carmen Russell-Sluchansky.

We start our Battleground State Series with exclusive polling on how Floridians will vote in November’s presidential and Senate races.

Florida holds onto its position as one of the most contentious battlegrounds in determining who will be elected president of the United States. Exclusive polling by Capitol Correspondent shows President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney locked in a dead heat in the competition for Florida’s 29 electoral votes. Romney is slightly ahead of Obama though that lead exists within the poll’s margin of error and this is despite the fact that only 43 percent of likely voters approve of Obama’s performance as president while 51 percent disapprove. Florida voters also report they would be less likely to vote for Mitt Romney were he to select US Senator, Marco Rubio, as his running mate.

We kick off our Battleground State Series with an in-depth look at the race in this key swing state. Our poll (conducted in partnership with Gravis Marketing) also finds Florida imperils the Democrats effort to maintain their Senate majority with incumbent Senator Democrat Bill Nelson in danger of losing his seat to Republican Congressman Connie Mack. Nelson holds the lead, but just as the lead Mitt Romney enjoys over President Barack Obama, the advantage is within the margin of error.

In addition, the CapCorr/Gravis poll found that less than 8 percent of likely voters are still undecided on who they will vote for in the presidential race and more than 22 percent had not made up their mind in the U.S. Senate race. About 75 percent of African-American Floridians said they will vote for President Obama along with 53 percent of Hispanic voters while 41 percent of Hispanic voters intend to vote for Romney. Additionally, seniors (over 60) are much more likely to vote for Romney while younger voters (18-25) are much more likely to vote for Obama.

Capitol Correspondent examined those results with Florida campaign officials and expert analysts. We talked with Brett Doster, a campaign advisor to both the Romney and Mack campaigns; Keith Donner, a Democratic strategist based in Miami; University of Florida political science professor Michael Binder; Doug Guetzloe, a Orlando-based Republican strategist and host of the Guetzloe Report; and Doug Kaplan, managing partner of Gravis Marketing, a political communications and polling firm. We will continue our Battleground State Series next week with a look at Ohio.

About Carmen Munir Russell-Sluchansky 360 Articles
Carmen is a multimedia journalist based in Washington, DC whose work has appeared in a variety of outlets including National Geographic, NBC News, the BBC, Asia! Magazine, The China Post, Chicago Tribune and Orlando Sentinel.