Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Obama's Florida Freefall

From: National Journal

There's nothing particularly new about Quinnipiac's new Florida numbers showing President Obama struggling, but they do underscore how badly the president has slipped - both with white voters and Hispanic voters in the demographically-diverse Sunshine State.

The poll shows Obama's job approval rating among white voters at just 33 percent, and his approval with Hispanic voters at 46 percent. Obama trails Romney by 21 points among white voters, 55 percent to 34 percent, and only holds a one-point lead among Hispanics, 46 to 45 percent.

Back in 2008, Obama won 42 percent of the white vote against John McCain in Florida; his level of support has dropped eight points since then. Even more stark is the president's 11-point slippage with Hispanics (he won 57 percent of the state's Latino vote against John McCain).

Obama's carefully-tailored message focused on fighting for the working class seems to have fallen on deaf ears in the Sunshine State, at least so far. Florida has been particularly hard-hit by the recession, with the state's unemployment rate and foreclosure rate ranking as one of the highest in the country.

Among all voters without a college degree, Obama trails Romney by four points, 47 to 43 percent. Among whites without a college degree, he trails Romney by a whopping 25-point margin, 56 to 31 percent.

If these numbers hold up - and Quinnipiac hasn't found encouraging numbers in Florida for the president since May - it may be wise to start looking at Florida as a lean-Republican state more than its traditional position as a toss-up. Pundits have begun to classify New Hampshire in that category, and there's been enough polling in Florida to indicate a similar trend in the Sunshine State.

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