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McCain 49%, Obama 48% in Florida

The presidential race in Florida is now essentially even. The latest Fox News/Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds John McCain ahead of Barack Obama 49% to 48%.

Support for the GOP nominee is at the highest level in the past five polls of the state. Last week, Obama held a 51% to 46% lead. He led by seven points in the Fox/Rasmussen poll the week before.

The tighter race in Florida is consistent with national polling, which has tightened up over the past week. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll has generally shown Obama up by four or five points nationally during the past week. Prior to that, Obama had consistently enjoyed a five-to-eight point lead.

The match-up is just as close among unaffiliated voters in Florida, with McCain holding a 46% to 45% edge. The Republican now leads 50% to 45% among men, while Obama holds onto a 51% to 48% lead among women (see full demographic crosstabs).

Eighty-five percent (85%) of Florida voters say they are certain who they will vote for in November, while just 15% say there is good chance they can still change their minds.

McCain is viewed favorably by 58% and unfavorably by 41%. Obama’s numbers in Florida are 53% favorable, 45% unfavorable.

While voters trust McCain more than Obama overall by a 47% to 45% margin, the candidates are tied at 47% when it comes to trust on the top issue of the economy and jobs. McCain still has the edge on national security, 55% to 41%.

Nearly half of Florida voters (49%) believe Obama does not have the right experience to be president, while 41% say he does have the right experience. However, more than a third (34%) of voters says they would be extremely comfortable with him in office, while 38% say they would not be comfortable at all.

Most voters in Florida (68%) think McCain does have the right experience for the job, compared to just 20% who believe the opposite. Still, just 28% say they would be extremely comfortable with McCain in office, while 31% say they would not be comfortable at all.

Though both candidates have promised to bring real change to Washington, 40% of Florida voters say only Obama is capable of following through on that promise, while just 29% say that of McCain. Another 18% say both of them are capable of bringing real change to the Capitol, while just 9% say neither candidate can.

If faced with one of life’s toughest decisions, 48% of voters in Florida say they would ask McCain for advice, while 45% would turn to Obama.

Eighty-three percent of voters in Florida (83%) say they are extremely interested in the election at this point, while just 1% say they have no interest.

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 Kerry 52% to 47%. The closeness of the 2000 race, however, has given Florida the reputation of being a so-called swing state.

Rasmussen Markets data currently gives Obama a % chance of winning Florida’s 27 Electoral College votes nest month. As a result of this poll Florida shifts from “Leans Democratic” to "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.

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Florida

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

McCain (R)

50%

49%

Obama (D)

49%

49%

This telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports October 19, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 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.