Suffolk poll asks voters about Obama, Romney
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The presidential election is merely months away, and an exclusive 7 News-Suffolk University poll shows how President Obama stacks up with Florida voters and against his presumptive opponent.
The obstacles have been cleared, his Republican opponents swept aside, and now Mitt Romney can focus on Barack Obama.
But while Romney has been away from the Sunshine State, the president has pulled ahead him in our latest poll.
Though Barack Obama may not stand up and cheer when he sees how Florida voters feel about him, he might smile a little.
When we asked registered voters if their opinion of Barack Obama was favorable or unfavorable, 50 percent of Florida voters chose favorable, while 45 percent chose unfavorable.
Not great news, but better than before.
In our January poll, it was 47 percent favorable and 48 percent unfavorable.
And in our October poll, 45 percent had a favorable opinion of Obama, while 48 percent had an unfavorable opinion.
So in each poll, the favorable rating is going up and the unfavorable rating is now going down for the president, and the reason may simply be current events.
David Paleologos, Suffolk University Political Research Center: "There appears to be a match in terms of the timing of the poll and events, like the bin Laden one-year anniversary last week and Barack Obama's media buy. He has been blitzing all the swing states, especially in Florida."
David Paleologos conducted our 7News-Suffolk University poll of 600 likely voters Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
He discovered more people disapprove of Mitt Romney than approve of him, 42 percent to 45 percent disapproving.
Paleologos says, blame it on the tough Republican primary.
David Paleologos, Suffolk University Political Research Center: "It went on way too long -- three months-- and Mitt Romney needs to repair his negative, and Mitt Romney has not been in Florida since the January primary, and not being here matters."
Now let's put Obama and Romney head-to-head.
We asked, "If the election were held today, who would you vote for?"
Barack Obama came out on top by a single point: 46 percent to 45 percent for Romney, and again, the trends seem to be favoring the incumbent Democrat.
Looking back at our January poll, Mitt Romney beat Obama 47 percent to 42 percent, and in October's poll, the two were tied.
David Paleologos, Suffolk University Political Research Center: "It looks like the pendulum is swinging again, and this race will be decided by one point or less, so it's not too early to think about absentee ballots and early voting."
It will probably be close, but some Republicans don't think so.
We asked voters, regardless of who they support, who do they think will win?
Fifty-one percent predict Obama; only 31 percent think Mitt Romney will become the next president, a bad sign for Republicans.
David Paleologos, Suffolk University Political Research Center: "At this point, it is because there is a perception that Barack Obama will be the next president come November, and sometimes perception drives the reality."
Finally, if Romney takes the advice of Florida voters, he can win Florida by picking a vice president from this state.
For example, voters told us if Jeb Bush were the Republican vice presidential nominee, it would boost Romney past Obama in the vital state of Florida.
And if Romney chose Marco Rubio, he would do a little better in the battle against the Democrats.
David Paleologos, Suffolk University Political Research Center: "It tells us that there is a four-point boost by having Marco Rubio on the ticket in Florida, and that is really key, because there are people who are Obama voters in Florida who like Marco Rubio more. Some are Democrats, and he is pulling them into the Republican column."
Of course, Marco Rubio has often said he does not want to be the vice president, but in politics, things change.
We asked voters if they think we should travel and trade with the Castro brothers, and do people favor the currently controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The poll results may surprise you, and irritate you. We will have them for you on Thursday.
(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)