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Romney, Cain lead in Florida; Rubio would boost GOP ticket

November 01, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Mitt Romney greets supporters at a community center in The Villages, Fla.
Mitt Romney greets supporters at a community center in The Villages, Fla. (Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel )

Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are neck and neck in Florida, a new survey of Republicans in the state finds.

The Suffolk University poll, conducted before Politico published a report on past sexual harassment claims against Cain, showed Romney at 25% and Cain at 24% in the early-voting state. Newt Gingrich is the only other candidate in double digits, with 11%.

President Obama, meanwhile, faces a tough climb in the key general election battleground. His approval rating stands at 41% among the full sample of voters, including Democrats and independents.

In hypothetical general election matchups, he is tied with Romney at 42% each, and leads Cain by just 3 points, 42-39%.

The survey also finds that Sen. Marco Rubio could boost the GOP ticket next November. If he is the nominee for vice president with an unnamed Republican, the GOP would lead the Obama-Joe Biden ticket 46-41%.

But if Biden were to be replaced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic ticket would regain an advantage over the GOP ticket 46%-43%.

"In Florida, Marco Rubio is Superman, but Hillary Clinton is the kryptonite," said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University.

The survey of 800 registered voters in Florida was conducted Oct. 26-30, with a margin of error of 3.5%. The subsample of Republicans included 287 registered voters.

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