Gov. Mitt Romney holds a 47 – 41 percent lead over President Barack Obama in Florida, where 63 percent of voters say the president’s support of same-sex marriage will not affect their vote, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 25 – 11 percent of voters, including 23 – 9 percent among independent voters, say Obama’s support of gay marriage makes them less likely to support his candidacy.
Adding Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to the GOP ticket would give the Republican Romney/Rubio team a 49 – 41 percent lead over President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Romney’s lead in the horse race compares to a 44 – 43 percent tie in a May 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University and a 49 – 42 percent Obama lead March 28.
Florida registered voters say 52 – 44 percent that the president does not deserve a second term in the Oval Office and by 52 – 44 percent give him a thumbs-down on his job approval.
“Gov. Mitt Romney has slipped into the lead in Florida and that standing is confirmed by his much better numbers than the president when voters are asked whether they view the candidates favorably or unfavorably. They view Romney favorably 44 – 35 percent, while Obama gets a negative 45 – 50 percent favorability,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant vice president of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“The overall picture in Florida is positive for Romney, who is ahead 50 – 37 percent among men, while women are divided 44 – 45 percent. And the president is getting just 33 percent of white votes, compared to 85 percent of black votes and 42 percent of Hispanic votes.”
With the bitter GOP primaries now behind him, Romney is winning Republicans 91 – 3 percent and independent voters 44 – 36 percent, while losing Democrats 87 – 4 percent.
In the Romney/Rubio race verses Obama/Biden, independent voters back the Republican ticket 46 – 37 percent.
Separate from their favorable opinion, Florida voters say 76 – 21 percent that Obama is a likeable person, compared to 58 – 30 percent for Romney. Even Republicans say 58 – 38 percent that Obama is likeable, while Democrats say 55 – 33 percent that Romney is not likeable. Independent voters say 73 – 23 percent that Obama is likeable and 58 – 31 percent that Romney is likeable.
Romney is viewed as better able to handle the economy, 50 – 40 percent.
On the issue of same-sex marriage, Florida voters, who have banned such unions in the State Constitution, now say they oppose them 50 – 40 percent. Men oppose same-sex marriage 55 – 35 percent while women are divided 44 – 46 percent. Support is 57 – 33 percent among voters under 35 years old. Opposition is 52 – 38 percent among voters 35 to 54 years old and 55 – 36 percent among voters over 55.
When given a three-way choice:
• 36 percent favor gay marriage;
• 34 percent back civil unions;
• 23 percent oppose all legal recognition.
A total of 22 percent of Florida voters say same-sex marriage is “extremely important” or “very important” to their presidential vote, while 26 percent say “somewhat important” and 49 percent say “not important.”
Romney’s opposition to same-sex marriage will not affect their vote, 56 percent of Florida votes say, while 23 percent say it makes them more likely to vote for him and 19 percent say less likely.
“While the issue of same-sex marriage looks like it affects only one-third of Florida voters, we know from experience what a few votes can mean in the Sunshine State,” said Brown.
From May 15 – 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,722 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research.