Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Q Poll: Romney moves back to tie in Florida
Posted May 3, 2012 by William March
Updated May 3, 2012 at 11:00 AM
The Quinnipiac University swing states poll has found Mitt Romney moving up to statistical ties in two key states, Florida and Ohio, while President Barack Obama holds a lead in Pennsylvania.
In Florida, Romney led by one point, 44-43 percent.
In Ohio, the poll found him trailing by two points, 44-42, and in Pennsylvania, Obama led by 47-39 percent.
The poll also found that 40 percent of the respondents in Florida said they want Romney to pick Sen. Marco Rubio as his running mate.
In the presidential race, the Ohio and Florida results were statistical ties in the poll, which surveyed more than 1,100 people in each of the three states April 25-May 1, for error margins of 2.9 points in each state.
The findings are a major swing for Romney, who trailed Obama 49-42 percent in Florida and 47-41 percent in Ohio in the same poll in March.
Pollster Peter Brown attributed the change to a levelling-off in voter optimism about the economy, and to the end of the Republican primary contest, which results in less criticism of Romney from his GOP opponents.
In the running mate question, the results varied by geography, with Floridians and Ohioans picking their favorite sons, Rubio and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, as their top running mate choices, while Pennsylvanians went for New Jersey Gov. Chris Cristie.
But the results were still mixed overall with around a quarter of the voters undecided.
—In Florida, 40 percent picked Rubio, with 14 percent for Christie and no other candidate over 7 percent.
—In Ohio, 26 percent picked Portman with 14 percent each for Rubio and Christie.
—In Pennsylvania, 28 percent picked Christie and 15 percent Rubio.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan all ranked in single digits in all three states.
Full results here.