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AIF Poll: Romney and President in Statistical Tie; Floridians Prefer Republican Congressman to Provide Check and Balance to the President’s Policies

August 19, 2011

TALLAHASSEE – Additional poll results released by Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) show that if the Florida general election were held today, President Obama is in a statistical tie with Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee (44 percent to 45 percent). In a scenario where Gov. Rick Perry (TX) is the Republican nominee, President Obama maintains a 5 percentage point-lead, 39 percent to 44 percent. Independents and Ticketsplitters were more likely to vote for Romney as the Republican candidate over Gov. Perry. The fact that President Obama only garners 44 percent of the vote to the GOP frontrunners in the all-important swing state of Florida is extremely problematic for the President’s re-election campaign.

“Whether the Republican nominee is Romney or Perry, we’re still only seeing about 44 percent of Florida voters willing to re-elect the President. In a critical state like Florida and in a political environment rife with anti-incumbent sentiment, that’s a bad sign for the President,” said Ryan Tyson, AIF Vice President of Political Operations.

Numbers released yesterday demonstrate increasing dissatisfaction with the President and bipartisan concern that his administration’s policies have been contrary to job creation and economic recovery. Likewise, results released today reveal half of those polled, including 58 percent of Independents and 50 percent of Ticketsplitters, would prefer to have a Republican congressman in office to serve as a check and balance to President Obama and his policies.

“Again, we see a large percentage of traditional swing voters – Independents and Ticketsplitters – leaning toward Republican representation as a means of safeguarding the country and the state from policies they believe have not only thrown us off course, but have inflicted further damage to our financial state and unemployment rate,” added Tyson.

In the Republican primary for President, Romney holds a double-digit lead over Gov. Perry (27 percent to 16 percent) with U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-6) following at 10 percent (see results slides for additional candidates). Currently, 22 percent of likely Republican primary voters are undecided. These findings illustrate that while Mitt Romney may a head start, the GOP nomination for President is still very much up for grabs in Florida.

Thirty-three percent of Florida voters are more likely to vote for the Republican candidate for President if U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) joins the ticket as the Vice President candidate. More than half of respondents (53 percent) had a favorable opinion of Sen. Rubio.

When considering candidates’ alignment to the Tea Party, 43 percent of those polled said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by the Tea Party while 26 percent would be more likely. Opinions on Tea Party issues and priorities were split with 46 percent of respondents disagreeing with the Tea Party movement’s issues and priorities and 42 percent agreeing.

Conducted by McLaughlin & Associates on August 8 and 9, 2011, the poll surveyed 600 randomly-selected, likely general election voters in Florida. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent and a 95 percent confidence interval. Questions regarding the Republic primary for President were posed to 223 randomly-selected likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 6.6 percent.

The final in AIF’s series of poll results will be released on Monday. For more detail on previously released results, please visit www.aif.com

View poll results.