Rasmussen poll: Romney 46%, Obama 45%

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Florida’s a key swing state in this year’s presidential contest, and it remains in play with President Obama and Mitt Romney still running almost even there.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Florida voters finds Romney with 46% support to the president’s 45%. Five percent (5%) prefer someone else, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

This is little changed since April after Obama had posted slight leads in surveys earlier in the year. Since early February, the president has picked up 45% to 47% of the vote in the Sunshine State, while Romney has earned 43% to 46% support.

Nationally, the two men also continue to run neck-and-neck with Romney just barely ahead in recent weeks. The closeness of the race is perhaps in explained in part by the finding that few voters nationwide expect the economy to get better no matter which of them wins the White House. The economy remains by far the number one issue in the race.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of Florida voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the president’s national health care law while 36% are opposed. These figures include 44% who Strongly Favor repeal and 29% who are Strongly Opposed. This is in line with findings nationally.

Romney who has vowed to repeal the health care law on his first day in office. Nationally, 80% believe that electing Romney will lead to repeal. Not surprisingly, in Florida Romney earns 86% support from voters who Strongly Favor repeal. Obama earns comparable support from those who are Strongly Opposed to such a move.

By a 51% to 38% margin, voters in the state think the health care law will be bad for the country, and 81% expect the law to be repealed if Romney is elected president and Republicans gain control of the entire Congress.  Only eight percent (8%) see repeal as even somewhat likely if Obama is reelected and Democrats take control of the Congress. This, too, is comparable to findings nationally.

Obama won Florida over John McCain in 2008 by a 51% to 49% margin. Now, 49% of the state’s voters approve of the job he is doing as president, while 50% disapprove. This includes 28% who Strongly Approve of his job performance and 44% who Strongly Disapprove, giving him a job approval rating in Florida comparable to what he earns nationally. The president’s overall numbers have changed little from the previous survey, but those who Strongly Disapprove are up five points from late April.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of Florida voters share a favorable opinion of Romney, while 44% view him unfavorably. These findings including 23% with a Very Favorable view of the Republican and 25% with a Very Unfavorable one. This marks little change from the past couple surveys.

Only six percent (6%) of Florida voters now rate the economy good or excellent, while 53% describe it as poor. Thirty-two percent (32%) say the economy is getting better, but 43% see it getting worse.

Only 39% think the economy will improve if Romney is elected president and Republicans take control of the entire Congress. But even fewer (27%) believe the economy will get better if Obama is reelected and Democrats taken charge of the Congress. That’s a wider gap than is found among voters nationally.

Still, voters in Florida place a lot of importance on the upcoming presidential election. Eighty-two percent (82%) say in terms of its impact on their own lives that it’s important whether Obama or Romney wins in November, with 59% who think it’s Very Important.

Both male and female voters in the state are almost tied when it comes to the two candidates. Most voters under 40 favor the president, while most older voters prefer Romney. The majority of married voters supports the Republican, but most unmarried voters like the incumbent instead.

Obama leads by 10 points among voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties.

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.