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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Mar. 28, 201212:00 PM EST

Poll: Obama ahead in Florida


President Barack Obama leads both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in polling of voters in Florida, according to a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey released today.

The poll shows Obama topping Romney 49-42 percent in Florida, and ahead of Santorum, 50-37 percent.

The institute also released polls for Ohio, showing Obama leading both and Pennsylvania, where the contest between Romney and Obama was too close to call and the president had a lead over Santorum.

“President Barack Obama is on a roll in the key swing states. If the election were today, he would carry at least two states,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“And if history repeats itself, that means he would be re-elected,” he said.

“But the election is not today. It is seven months away,” Brown said. “Two months ago, President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney were in a statistical tie in Ohio and Florida.”

Brown said the poll showed voters remain concerned most about the economy, with about 60 percent of them in all three states saying a recovery has started.

The poll also found that most respondents blame oil companies and other oil-producing nations for rising gas prices, with only about one in six blaming Obama.

Ninety percent of voters say the economy is either very important or extremely important in their choice. A subset of that — unemployment — is important to 8 in 10 voters, and the unemployment rate has declined in Florida.

Florida voters split on Obama’s job performance, with 47 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving. About half also say he should be re-elected.

On a state issue, the poll found Gov. Rick Scott with a 36 percent approval rating, and a 52 percent disapproval rating, despite the lowering unemployment rate.

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