Poll: Obama Would Stomp Sarah Palin in Florida

December 25, 2010

By Steve Peoples, Roll Call

He may have underwhelming approval numbers in the Sunshine State, but President Barack Obama’s best chance at winning Florida’s horde of electoral votes in 2012 could be Sarah Palin.

The former Alaska Governor trails Obama by “a stunning 14-point margin” — 52 percent to 38 percent, in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup released this morning by Public Policy Polling. The left-leaning pollster noted that a Democrat hasn’t won Florida by such a wide margin since 1948, when Harry Truman won by 15 points. The presidential race in the Sunshine State, of course, carries tremendous downballot implications for the re-election bid of Sen. Bill Nelson (D), not to mention the 25 Congressional seats that now exist and the two additional seats that will be created as a result of population growth.

Democrats said the increase is largely attributed to more Hispanic voters, who generally side with them, although the effects of redistricting won’t be known until the new districts are shaped.

The new seats mean that Florida carries greater significance in presidential politics. Florida will move into a tie with New York (which is losing two seats) in 2012 for the third-largest pool of electoral votes at 29. A state’s electoral votes are determined by adding its Congressional seats and Senate seats.

PPP tested a series of hypothetical presidential matchups among 1,034 Florida voters from Dec. 17 to 20. The margin of error was 3 points. While no Republican has formally announced at this point, Palin is largely believed to be weighing a bid for the nation’s top elected post.

Part of Palin’s problem in Florida, pollster Tom Jensen writes in his blog, is tepid support from Republicans; she gets only 63 percent of her own party’s vote. But her greatest shortfall is with independent voters. She trails Obama by 41 points — 67 percent to 26 percent — among the key voting bloc.

To read more, visit: http://www.rollcall.com/news/-201830-1.html?ET=rollcall:e9536:80094833a:&st=email&pos=epol

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