POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 9:14am
(CNN) — A poll released Wednesday morning indicates that Mitt Romney holds a six point lead over President Barack Obama in the crucial battleground state of Florida.
According to the Quinnipiac University survey, 47% of registered voters in the Sunshine State say they back Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, with 41% saying they support Obama, with 7% unsure.
The six-point advantage for Romney is up from the beginning of the month, when Romney was at 44% and Obama at 43% in Quinnipiac's previous poll in Florida.
Adding freshman Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to the GOP ticket expands Romney's lead slightly to 49%-41% over the president and Vice President Joe Biden.
According to the poll, by a 52%-44% margin, Florida voters say the president does not deserve a second term in the White House, and by a 52%-44% margin, they say they don't approve of the job he's doing in office.
"Gov. Mitt Romney has slipped into the lead in Florida and that standing is confirmed by his much better numbers than the president when voters are asked whether they view the candidates favorably or unfavorably. They view Romney favorably 44%-35%, while Obama gets a negative 45%-50% favorability," says Peter A. Brown, assistant vice president of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"The overall picture in Florida is positive for Romney, who is ahead 50%-37% among men, while women are divided 44%-45%. And the president is getting just 33% of white votes, compared to 85% percent of black votes and 42% percent of Hispanic votes," adds Brown.
While the president's favorable rating stands at 45%, a wider margin of Florida voters (76%-21%) say that Obama's a likeable person, compared to 58%-31% for Romney. But on the most important issue to voters, the economy and which candidate can better handle it, Romney has a ten-point advantage over the president.
The survey also indicates that by a 50%-40% margin, Florida voters oppose same-sex marriage. The state has a ban on such marriages written into Florida's constitution.
George W. Bush's controversial win in Florida put him over the top in the 2000 presidential election. He carried the state by five points in his 2004 re-election victory. Obama won the state by three points in his 2008 win over Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted May 15-21, with 1,722 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
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By Paul Steinhauser