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Florida: Romney 51%, Obama 46%

Mitt Romney has taken his biggest lead of the year in Florida and now outpaces President Obama by five points in the key swing state following Tuesday night's debate.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Voters finds Romney with 51% support to Obama’s 46%. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and two percent (2%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Florida now moves from a Toss-Up to Leans Romney in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections.

Last week, Romney held a slightly narrower 51% to 47% lead. Prior to that time, the candidates have been within two points of each other in Florida in every survey since April.

Ninety-five percent (95%) of likely voters in the Sunshine State say they are certain to vote in this year’s election. Among these voters, it’s Romney 51%, Obama 47%.

Florida allows early voting, and among voters who have already voted, Romney's ahead 51% to 45%. 

Among those who have yet to vote, 88% say they have already made up their minds which candidate they will vote for. Romney leads 54% to 45% among these voters. 

Still, a plurality (49%) of all voters in the state expect Obama to win the election, while 38% think Romney will come out on top. But that's a narrower gap than is found nationally.

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The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Florida was conducted on October 18, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Florida voters now trust Romney more than Obama 52% to 44% when it comes to handling the economy. The GOP challenger has a similar 52% to 45% lead in voter trust in the area of national security. Nationally, voters trust Romney more by seven points on the economy, but the candidates are almost evenly divided in terms of voter trust in the area of national security.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters in the Sunshine State are excited about the choice between Obama and Romney, while 29% say they will simply be voting for the lesser of two evils. That’s a more enthusiastic view than voters have nationally.

Fifty-one percent (51%) would turn to Romney for advice if they had to make the toughest decision of their life. Forty-two percent (42%) would ask the president instead. However, by a 50% to 46% margin, Florida voters think Obama understands the issues of the middle class better than Romney does.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of the state's voters consider their personal finances good or excellent, while just 13% say they are in poor shape. Thirty-two percent (32%) think their finances are getting better, but just as many (33%) say they are getting worse. Florida voters have a more optimistic view of their own finances than adults nationally.

Romney earns support from 83% of the state's Republicans, while 80% of Florida Democrats back Obama. Both candidates attract 16% of voters from their opponent's party. Romney leads 54% to 41% among voters in Florida not affiliated with either of the major political parties.

Obama carried Florida over John McCain in 2008 by a 51% to 49% margin, and 49% of the state’s voters now approve of the job he is doing as president. Another 49% disapprove. This includes Strong Approval from 31% and Strong Disapproval from 41%, comparable to the president's job approval rating nationally.

Romney is viewed favorably by 54% and unfavorably by 45%. This includes 38% with a Very Favorable opinion of him and 31% with a Very Unfavorable one. 

In addition to Florida, Romney is ahead in Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina and North Dakota.  Obama is ahead in Connecticut, Maine, MassachusettsMichigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and WashingtonColorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin are Toss-Ups. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Florida was conducted on October 18, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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