President Barack Obama has rebounded from his dismal first debate and taken a six-point lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney in the key swing state of Florida, but the state is by no means a lock for the president, pollster John Zogby tells Newsmax TV.
Zogby was commenting on the latest NewsmaxZogby Tracking poll for Florida. The poll shows that Obama now leads Romney 48 to 42 percent in Florida. Despite the numbers, Florida is not a lock for the president.
Watch the exclusive interview here.
“Look, the president is not popular,” Zogby said. “His overall approval number just hit 50 percent in Florida, 46 disapprove. And . . . the intensity level, the strongly approve, is less than one in four. In another barometric reading does the president deserve to be re-elected or not? When we started the polling in Florida, he was upside down. More said it was time for someone new than said he deserved re-election but that’s evolved now to 46 percent who say that he deserved to be re-elected; 43 it’s time for someone new.
“But those are still not bragging numbers. The president does not have a lock on Florida. He’s in better shape right now than Romney but this can close. This has been a pretty fluid polling cycle for us and for other pollsters.”
Obama’s rebound in the poll was due in part to the president’s improved performance in the second debate and help from Vice President Joe Biden.
“First of all, I do believe that the vice presidential debate stopped some of President Obama’s bleeding,” Zogby said. “Not enough to move him into any kind of lead but it at least stopped what had perceived to be in the numbers of free-fall. And then the president had a stronger second debate by most accounts, including my own.
“He won that debate. But make no mistake about it, these are still close. But what we’re seeing here in Florida with each day of our tracking is the president appears to be doing better among independents. That, in fact, he’s opened up a significant double-digit lead from the first day. And, of course, that’s extremely important in Florida.”
The poll also found that the president has opened up a significant lead among Hispanics in Florida, besting Romney 67 to 23 percent. Zogby noted that younger Cubans are moving away from the Republican Party and are “tilting independent and Democratic.”
In the race for the U.S. Senate, incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., leads challenger Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., 45 to 32 percent.
“The fact that Connie Mack just does not seem to be catching on,” Zogby explained. “You know, the first day of polling, it was a nine point lead. It was 44 Nelson, 35 Mack. Not good numbers at all for Mack but 44 percent for a longtime incumbent is troubling. But what we’ve seen is Nelson holding steady. In fact, even gaining a point or two along the way; Mack actually going in the opposite direction. Certainly no predictions from me. Anything can happen. But a challenger at this point stuck with about one third support in the state is problematic.”
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