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Florida: Obama Ahead by Three

Barack Obama now leads John McCain 50% to 47% in Florida, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey in the state.

This is the second straight October poll to show Obama with a modest advantage in Florida. That’s quite a change from September when five statewide polls found McCain ahead or tied each time.

Still, the latest polling shows a tighter race than the seven-point advantage enjoyed by Obama last Sunday.

Obama is supported by 87% of Democrats and holds a fifteen point advantage among unaffiliated voters. McCain gets the vote from 85% or Republicans. Obama leads among voters under 40, among those who earn less than $40,000 a year or more than $100,000, and among those who rarely or never attend church. McCain has the edge among those over 40, those who earn between $40,000 and $100,000 annually, and regular churchgoers.

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Obama is viewed favorably by 57% of Florida voters, while his opponent is viewed favorably by 56%. Both candidates are viewed unfavorably by 43%.

Joe Biden earns similar ratings to his running mate, 57% favorable and 42% unfavorable. Sarah Palin earns less flattering reviews, 51% favorable, 48% unfavorable.

Sometimes, individual polls can overstate the volatility in a race, especially when the polls come with a +/- 4 percentage point margin of sampling error. One way to address this is to look at an average of three consecutive polls. This is the seventh Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Florida since Labor Day, so there is plenty of data to evaluate.

In the first three polls in September, McCain was ahead 49% to 46%. The final three polls of September showed McCain up by two, 49% to 47%. For the three polls ending October 5, the numbers reversed and Obama enjoyed a 49% to 47% advantage. Now, with this latest poll, the three poll average shows the Democrat with a 50% to 46% lead.

The struggling economy is the top issue in the upcoming election, but 51% of Florida voters say the recent passage of the federal bailout plan for Wall Street has made no impact on their vote. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say the bailout bill made them more likely to vote for Obama, while 21% said that of McCain. Overall, those who say the economy is the top issue favor Obama by a two-to-one margin.

Eighty percent (80%) say that they have been personally affected by the economic debacle.

Most Florida investors (68%) say they have not made any changes to their retirement investments as a result of the current crisis, while 29% say they have made changes. Younger voters are more likely than their elders to have adjusted their retirement plans.

Obama currently has a demanding 55% to 40% lead among unaffiliated voters in Florida. He also leads 55% to 45% among Hispanic voters, while McCain leads 55% to 42% among white voters. While Obama leads 52% to 45% among men in Florida, the race is nearly tied among women, with Obama ahead 49% to 48%.

Finally, 39% say Governor Charlie Crist would have been a better choice than Palin for McCain’s running mate, while 46% disagree. While Democrats in Florida strongly believe that Crist would have been a better choice, only 16% of Republicans agree. Seventy-one percent (71%) of GOP voters take the opposite view and say Crist would not have been a better choice. Unaffiliated voters are evenly divided on the question. Men are evenly divided, but a plurality of women say Crist would not have been a better choice.

The Governor earns good or excellent ratings from 55% of voters, while just 12% say he is doing a poor job.

President Bush earns good or excellent job approval ratings from 31% of voters, while 51% rate his performance as poor.

Rasmussen Markets data currently gives Obama a % chance of winning Florida’s 27 Electoral College votes in November. Florida is rated as a “Toss-Up” 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.

As this poll is released, Obama has the edge in every state won by John Kerry four years ago. However, of the states won by George Bush, McCain is trailing in four and five others are considered a toss-up. As a result, Electoral College projections now show Obama leading 248-163. When “leaners” are included, Obama leads 300-174. A total of 270 Electoral Votes are needed to win the White House.

Recent statewide Presidential polls have been released for Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin Demographic crosstabs for all state polling are available for Premium Members. Learn More.

See results from recent polling on Senate races.

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Florida

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

McCain (R)

50%

49%

Obama (D)

49%

49%

This telephone survey of 700 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports October 8, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 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.