Florida is the largest swing state and currently President Obama holds an extremely narrow lead over Mitt Romney according to two new polls released over the weekend. The PPP poll found Obama has a four point lead. From PPP:
PPP’s newest Florida poll finds Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by a 50-46 margin in the state. That represents a 3 point improvement for Obama since PPP’s last poll of the state, which was conducted the weekend after the Republican convention. It represents the largest lead PPP has found for Obama in Florida since early June.
Mitt Romney’s image with Floridians has taken a turn in the wrong direction since his party gathered in Tampa for its convention. His favorability has dropped a net 9 points from +2 at 49/47 over Labor Day weekend to now -7 at 44/51. Romney’s comments about the ’47%’ this week aren’t doing him any favors. 89% of voters are familiar with them and 50% consider them to have been inappropriate to 44% who were ok with them. Most troubling for Romney independent voters considered the comments improper by a 58/37 margin and he trails Obama by a 51/40 spread with those folks who could determine the final outcome in the state.
By comparison The Mason Dixon poll for the Miami Herald shows Obama leading by only a single point. From the Miami Herald:
Obama is drawing 48 percent support to Romney’s 47 percent among likely voters — a lead well within the poll’s 3.5 percent error margin. Only 4 percent are undecided. [...]
Obama has fought Romney to a standstill over who’s more trustworthy when it comes to the economy. But 51 percent say they’re not better off than they were four years ago, while 41 percent say they are.
The president is also up by 6 percentage points when it comes to foreign policy — even after the attacks on a Middle East embassy and consulate that left four Americans dead.
As it currently stands Florida is a must win for Romney. Romney simply can’t afford to lose the state, because as it stands he currently has no legitimate paths to the White House that don’t include Florida.
Obama already has 247 electoral votes from states that strongly lean his direction. Even if Obama lose all the other swing states, as long as he wins Florida’s 29 electoral votes that would put Obama over the 270 electoral votes needed for victory.
Photo courtesy Skirsner under Creative Commons license