Q-poll: Obama better on Medicare but Romney closing

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Voters in Florida say President Obama would do a better job on Medicare than Republican Mitt Romney and broadly oppose a voucher-type Medicare system, a new poll finds, reports the News Service of Florida.

The Quinnipiac University/CBS/New York Times poll of voters in Florida and other swing states, which was released Thursday, found that Florida voters by a 62-28 percent margin say they wouldn’t approve of making Medicare a voucher program.

But despite that, and Romney running mate Paul Ryan’s past backing of such a proposal, the race has tightened with Romney drawing closer in Florida to the president, the poll found. Florida voters polled still would favor Obama by a 49-46 margin, but that’s compared to a 51-45 lead for the president back on Aug. 1.

The poll also found that older voters – those over 65 – favor Romney by a 55-42 percent margin in Florida. That changes with younger voters: those 50-64 favor Obama 50 percent to 46 percent, according to the poll. Romney also has the advantage, narrowly, among independents, a huge block in Florida, 48-44 percent.

The survey also found that voters in Florida generally have more favorable impressions of both candidates than unfavorable – although voters give Vice President Joe Biden a negative approval rating.

The poll also looked at the U.S. Senate race in Florida and found incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson with a 50-41 percent lead over the Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack.

Florida voters also told pollsters the economy will be extremely important in their vote for president and half of Florida voters said Medicare was an “extremely important” issue. Among those over 65, 60 percent say Medicare is extremely important as an issue in the presidential campaign.

But while more voters in Florida say Obama is the better candidate when it comes to what to do with Medicare, they said by a 48-45 percent margin that Romney would do a better job on the economy overall.

On another Florida issue, survey respondents told pollsters that they generally think efforts to remove voters from the voting rolls will prevent ineligible people from voting. Sixty-five percent of those polls agreed with that while 28 percent said it would be more likely to suppress legitimate voter participation.

Voters also disapprove, by a 47-41 percent margin, of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing.

The poll, taken Aug. 15-21 using live phone interviews of 1,241 likely Florida voters, had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.