Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The late Tim Russert famously said of presidential elections, “It’s all about Florida.” New polling from Public Policy Polling found the battle for Florida is incredibly close as the race enters just 100 days to go until Election Day.
According to the PPP poll, President Obama’s lead in Florida has shrunk from 4 points in June to just 1 point in July. Obama leads 48 to 47 percent in Florida, which is well-within the polls’ margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.
That means the race for Florida’s delegates in the Electoral College is deadlocked.
“Florida looks like it will once again be among the closest states in the country with neither candidate having a clear advantage there,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.
Independent voters have signaled the biggest shift going from 9 points ahead for Obama in June to 7 points ahead for Romney in July. Romney has improved his favorability numbers amongst independents to 42 percent.
Deeper in the numbers, Floridians were tied on President Obama’s job performance with 47 approving and 50 disapproving, inside the poll’s margin of error. The poll interviewed 40 percent of people who described themselves as somewhat or very conservative and 27 percent who considered themselves somewhat or very liberal.
In the Obama approval numbers, he received high marks from liberals, but also commanded a 57-40 advantage of approval among self-described moderates. Moderates skewed 58-34 percent in unfavorable ratings of Romney.
What helps Romney is that 22 percent of very liberal voters have a favorable view of Romney while just 10 percent of very conservative voters approve of Obama’s job performance.
PPP ran through a host of potential running mates for Romney and found Florida Senator Marco Rubio is the best bet to help Romney take the Sunshine State. Adding Rubio to the ticket flips the race to 49-47 percent in favor of Romney.
Former Bush administration Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice also gives Romney a one point lead in the race. But, adding Rice also increased the undecided voter number to nine percent.
All of the rest of the potential VP selections either made no difference or hurt the ticket in the state of Florida.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave Obama a three point lead if he’s the VP selection. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty didn’t change the margin at all and Ohio Senator Rob Portman increases Obama’s lead to four points, outside the poll’s margin of error.
When breaking the VP field down by ideology, adding Rubio to the Romney ticket has moderates skewing 59-35 percent for Obama-Biden. Again though, Romney-Rubio received 16 percent support from very liberal voters while Obama-Biden received just 8 percent of the vote from very conservative voters.
Interestingly, this pattern repeats itself amongst every VP selection voters were asked about.
Obama received strong support from voters under the age of 45, but trailed Romney amongst voters from 46 and up. Obama also dominated Romney amongst Hispanic, African-American, and “other” races, but trailed by 17 points amongst white voters to Romney.
Obama’s lead amongst Hispanic voters was 61-34 percent. Several Republican pundits have said that if Romney drops much below where it is now, it may be impossible for him to completely overcome Obama in several swing states where the Hispanic population is growing.