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Purple Poll: Romney over Obama 48-47

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 02:03 PM

Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama in Florida by a single point, 48-47 percent, in a new installment of the Purple Poll, a result unchanged from the poll's last installment in August.

The Purple Poll is done in a dozen "purple states," states that could swing between Democrats and Republicans, by a bipartisan polling group.

Overall in all 12 states, it shows Obama advancing significantly, from a 1-point deficit in August, 47-46 percent, to a 5-point lead, 49-44 percent.

The result differs somewhat from a couple of other recent polls, including a Fox News poll showing Obama with a 5-point lead in Florida.

Rubio stars in new Romney ad

Marco Rubio, starring in a new Mitt Romney campaign ad, reprises the arguments he made during his successful 2010 Senate run calling for revisions of the Medicare program.

As in his Senate campaign, Rubio invokes his mother, an 81-year-old Medicare beneficiary, in the new ad.

"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan get it. Medicare is going broke," Rubio says in the ad. "That's not politics. It's math. Anyone who wants to leave Medicare like it is, is for letting it go bankrupt.

"My mother's 81 and depends on Medicare. We can save Medicare without changing hers, but only if younger Americans accept that our Medicare will be different than our parents', when we retire in 30 years. But after all they did for us, isn't that the least we can do?"

The ad seems to be aimed at younger voters, who according to some polls are more likely than elderly voters to reject the Romney-Ryan ticket's proposal to turn Medicare into a premium support or voucher program.

Mack embarks on 6-day bus tour

Rep. Connie Mack IV on Saturday began a six-day U.S. Senate campaign bus tour in Gainesville. He is scheduled to stop in Tampa on Wednesday.

The tour comes as Mack appears to be trailing his opponent, Sen. Bill Nelson, in most polls, some by double digits.

A Fox News poll released Wednesday showed Nelson leading 49-35 percent, with a 3-point error margin. Other recent polls have shown narrower leads, however, and one, by Gravis Marketing, shows Mack with a 1-point lead. The Real Clear Politics average gives Nelson an 8.4-point spread.

Mack's tour started with tailgate events in Gainesville and Tallahassee on Saturday. He will then move on through North and Central Florida. He'll hit Orlando and Lakeland Monday and Tuesday, then Tampa on Wednesday, but details of the local events haven't been announced.

The tour appears aimed at persuadable voters in swing areas of Central Florida and at North Florida Republicans who may be sympathetic to Mack but don't know him well. None of the stops is in heavily Democratic Southeast Florida, nor are there any in Mack's heavily Republican home turf, Southwest Florida — he's from Fort Myers.

In all, it's 19 stops in six days, and the campaign says surprise VIPs will join Mack at some of the stops.

Fox News Florida poll: Obama, Nelson are up

A new Fox News poll of Florida shows President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 49-44 percent and Sen. Bill Nelson leading Rep. Connie Mack IV 49-35 percent.

The poll also showed Obama with small but significant leads in two other key swing states, Ohio and Virginia.

In Ohio, Obama led 49-42 percent, and in Virginia, he led 49-42 percent on a poll question including minor party candidate Virgil Goode, or by 50-43 percent omitting Goode.

The Fox polling was done Sept. 16-18 and included a Florida sample of 829 likely voters. Polls in all three states carried 3-point error margins.

The Florida poll showed a big gender gap, with 57 percent of women, but only 41 percent of men, favoring Obama.

It showed an enthusiasm gap in Obama's favor — 74 percent of his supporters, but only 53 percent of Romney's, said they "strongly favor" their choice. Among Romney voters, 25 percent said they favor him mainly because they dislike his opponent; 12 percent of Obama voters said so.

It suggests the Medicare issue may be having an effect on Florida voters. By 54-41 percent, the respondents said they trust Obama more than Romney on "protecting Medicare and making sure it's there for future generations." But Obama's edge on that issue came mainly from younger voters; those 55 and over trusted Romney as much or more.

Obama also got an expression of confidence on handling foreign policy and protecting the nation from terrorist attacks, and edged Romney 49-46 percent on improving the economy and creating jobs.

Obama led in the Florida poll even though a majority of respondents, 56 percent, said they were not satisfied with the direction in which the country is going; 42 percent said they were somewhat or very satisfied.

McDonnell to deliver GOP dinner keynote

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be the keynote speaker for the Florida Republican Party's Victory Dinner fundraising event in Orlando on Oct. 4.

McDonnell is chairman of the national Republican Party's fundraising arm for state governor's races, the Republican Governor's Association. He won the governorship in 2008.

On Aug. 28, the opening night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, he gave a short but strident red-meat speech to fire up the delegates. McDonnell has occasionally been mentioned as a possible national candidate for 2016.

With McDonnell's announcement, both state parties will have big political names from out of state speaking at their main annual fundraising events. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, viewed as a Democratic Party rising star, will speak at the Hillsborough County party's Kennedy-King Dinner Sept. 22.


wmarch@tampatrib.com (813) 731-8146
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