Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
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Q poll: Obama, Nelson hold significant leads
Posted Aug 1, 2012 by William March
Updated Aug 1, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Two new polls show President Barack Obama and Sen. Bill Nelson leading their Republican challengers for re-election among Florida voters, but one poll shows the Senate race significantly tighter than the other.
A Quinnipiac University poll shows both Obama and Nelson with significant leads—Obama over Mitt Romney 51-45 percent among likely voters, and Nelson over Connie Mack IV 47-40 percent. A Public Policy Polling survey, meanwhile, shows Nelson only two points ahead of Republican Connie Mack IV, 45-43 percent, statistically little different from a tie.
The Quinnipiac poll also showed Florida voters favor Obama’s proposal to increase taxes on households making more than $250,000 by 58-37 percent.
Quinnipiac is conducting surveys in in three key swing states—Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania—along with the New York Times and CBS News. The poll used live callers and including cell phones, sampled opinions of 1,177 likely voters July 24-27, for an error margin of 2.9 percent.
PPP used automated dial methodology to survey 871 voters July 26-29, with a 3.3-point error margin.
The Nelson campaign exulted over the Quinnipiac outcome, which differs from a couple of other recent polls.
“What’s interesting is this comes after there have been $9.2 million in false and negative TV ads against Nelson from outside groups and Super PACs tied to the Koch brothers, Karl Rove and undisclosed corporate dollars behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s political attack arm,” said a news release from campaign spokeswoman Marley Wilkes.
It said Nelson, who hasn’t started his own advertising yet, will start “in the next few days.”
But Repubilcans contended the poll oversampled Democrats, and thereby skewed its results in Nelson’s favor.
Poll results have varied widely recently in the Senate race. A recent Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey also showed Nelson with a significant lead, while two automated-dial polls, from Rasmussen Reports and SurveyUSA, showed Mack with significant leads—summaries here.
In the presidential race in Florida, most other recent polls have shown Obama leading, but by margins so small they amount to a tie. Again, a summary from Real Clear Politics.