New Quinnipiac poll of Florida: Barack Obama 51%, Mitt Romney 45%

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President Barack Obama hits the magic 50 percent mark against Gov. Mitt Romney among likely voters in Florida.

Obama leads 51 – 44 percent among women likely voters in Florida while men go 50 percent for the Democrat and 46 percent for the Republican.

Both candidates run strong among their own party’s voters while independent voters split with 47 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney.

Among likely voters backing Obama, 65 percent strongly favor him while 24 percent like him with reservations and 10 percent say they pick Obama out of dislike for Romney.

Among Romney voters, 49 percent strongly favor him while 29 percent like him with reservations and 19 percent say they are voting against Obama.

Obama gets a 50 – 46 percent favorability rating, while Romney gets a split 41 – 42 percent score.

The economy is the most important issue in the election for 52 percent of Florida voters, with 22 percent who pick health care and 9 percent who cite the budget deficit.

Romney would do a better job on the economy, 47 percent of Florida likely voters say, while 45 percent pick Obama.  Obama is better on health care, voters say 50 – 42 percent.

If Obama is reelected, his economic policies will hurt rather than help their financial situation, Florida voters say 38 – 23 percent, with 36 percent saying it won’t matter.  Romney gets a 31 – 30 percent split on whether he will help or hurt, with 34 percent saying no difference.

Presidential candidates should release several years of tax returns, 53 percent of voters say; 19 percent want to see one or two years of returns and 23 percent say don’t release returns.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.