* Perry tops Romney 28-22 pct in Florida poll
* But Romney fares better in a matchup against Obama
ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick
Perry leads rival Mitt Romney in Florida, where the Republican
presidential candidates gathered Thursday for another
debate, a Quinnipiac University poll said.
The poll of registered voters showed Perry with 28 percent,
followed by former Massachusetts Governor Romney with 22
percent. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who has not said
whether she will run, was third with 8 percent.
But Perry tops Romney 31 percent to 22 percent if Palin
stays out of the race to choose a Republican nominee to
challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in the November
Romney's support in Florida has barely moved since he led
the Republican pack with 23 percent in an Aug. 4 Quinnipiac
survey. Perry has surged from 13 percent in that survey, which
was conducted before he formally announced his candidacy.
Obama won Florida in the 2008 election. But the Quinnipiac
poll showed Florida voters disapprove of the job he is doing by
57 percent to 39 percent, his worst score in any Quinnipiac
University poll in any state.
Asked if Obama deserved a second term, 53 percent of
Florida voters said no and 41 percent said yes.
In possible 2012 presidential matchups, Romney tops Obama
47 percent 40 percent in Florida while Perry gets 42 percent to
Obama's 44 percent, a statistical dead heat.
The poll surveyed 1,007 registered voters in live
interviews via land lines and cell phones from Sept. 14 to 19.
The error margin was 3.1 percentage points overall and 5.1
percentage points for the Republican primary.
Voters in Florida, with the nation's highest concentration
of senior citizens, say 58 percent 33 percent that it is unfair
to describe Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme," as Perry has
done. But among Republicans, the only ones allowed to vote in
the state's closed primary, 52 percent say that is a fair way
to describe the nation's retirement system.
Perry's position on Social Security leads 35 percent of
Florida voters to think he wants to fix it, while 37 percent
feel he wants to end it. Republicans, however, said 60 percent
14 percent that Perry wants to fix Social Security.
(Editing by Bill Trott)
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