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Florida: McCain Opens a Five-Point Lead

John McCain has once again opened a modest lead over Barack Obama in Florida.

The latest Fox News/Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Sunshine State finds John McCain attracting 49% of the vote while Barack Obama earns 44% (crosstabs available for Premium Members). Eighty-four percent (84%) of McCain voters and 84% of Obama voters are certain of their vote and say they will not change their mind before Election Day.

Although McCain has now had an advantage in eight of ten Florida polls this year, this is his biggest lead in the state since June. Just a week ago, the candidates were tied in Florida. Both nationally and in Florida, polling suggests that the race for the White House today is very similar to the final results for Election 2004. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows McCain with a very modest lead nationally and McCain’s five-point edge in Florida matches President Bush’s margin of victory in the state four years ago.

Rasmussen Reports and Fox News Channel will jointly release a series battleground state polls every Monday night at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Other polls tonight were released for Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania,and Virginia. See overview of all polling released this week.

Rasmussen Reports will release other state polling on the Presidential race weeknights at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, follows the race on a national basis and is updated every morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. (Sign up for a free daily e-mail update).

The Republican nominee is viewed favorably by 56% of Florida voters, Obama by 52%. For both men, those figures represent a slight decline over the past week.

Forty-four percent (44%) say they would be extremely or very comfortable with McCain as President while 40% say the same about Obama.

As for the running mates, 46% say they would be that comfortable with Joe Biden as President and 39% are that comfortable with Sarah Palin.

Nationally, 63% of voters say that John McCain is prepared to be President while 44% say the same about Obama.

Florida has been carried by the Republican presidential candidates in eight out of the last 10 elections, most notably in 2000 when it took a month to determine that George W. Bush was the winner. In 2004, Bush easily defeated Democrat John W. Kerry 52% to 47% in the Sunshine State. The closeness of the 2000 race, however, has given Florida the reputation of being a so-called swing state.

Rasmussen Markets data currently gives McCain a % chance of winning Florida’s 27 Electoral College votes in November. At the time this poll was released, Florida was rated as “Leans Republican” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. NOTE: Factors other than the latest Rasmussen Reports poll impact the Balance of Power ratings. The current status is indicated on the table in the upper righthand corner of this article.

New polls were released last week for Missouri, Washington, Alaska, Michigan, Montana, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Idaho, New Mexico, South Dakota and North Dakota. Additional state poll results will be released at RasmussenReports.com each Monday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern and Tuesday-Friday at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll is released each morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. Other polling is released at 7:00 a.m., Noon, and 3:00 p.m. Eastern weekdays along with other updates as needed.

Premium Members can review full demographic crosstabs for all state polls and get the first look at all Rasmussen Reports polling data. Learn More.

President George W. Bush earns good or excellent ratings from 34% of Florida voters, while 49% say the president is doing a poor job.

See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs available for Premium Members only.

Florida

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

McCain (R)

50%

49%

Obama (D)

49%

49%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 14, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Florida Trends: McCain vs. Obama

Date

McCain

Obama

11/02/2008

50%

49%

10/26/2008

47%

51%

10/19/2008

49%

48%

10/12/2008

46%

51%

10/08/2008

47%

50%

10/05/2008

45%

52%

09/28/2008

47%

47%

09/24/2008

48%

47%

09/21/2008

51%

46%

09/14/2008

49%

44%

09/07/2008

48%

48%

08/18/2008

46%

43%

07/22/2008

45%

46%

06/26/2008

48%

41%

06/18/2008

47%

39%

05/19/2008

50%

40%

04/10/2008

53%

38%

03/12/2008

47%

43%

02/16/2008

53%

37%


Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in Florida

 

McCain

Obama

Very Favorable

38%

43%

Somewhat Favorable

22%

9%

Somewhat Unfavorable

19%

12%

Very Unfavorable

20%

36%

Not Sure

1%

1%


Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary

Republicans

160

Democrats

173

Toss-Ups & Leaners

205


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.