(CNN) – Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are tied at the top in the battle for Florida's Republican primary, according to a new poll. And a Suffolk University survey of Sunshine State voters also indicates that adding Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to the GOP ticket would change the political landscape in the key battleground state.
According to the poll, 25% of registered Republicans in Florida say they support Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who's making his second bid for the White House, with 24% backing Cain, the businessman, former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host. Romney's one point margin is well within the survey's sampling error.
The poll indicates former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 11%, Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 9%, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 5%, former Utah Gov. and ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at 2%, with Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson each at 1%.
The poll was conducted almost entirely before reports emerged of sexual harassment allegations against Cain.
A CNN/Time/ORC International Poll released last week indicated that three out of ten Republicans said they would back Romney, with Cain at 18%. Gingrich and Perry each at 9% support, with Paul at 6% and everyone else in the low single digits.
Florida is becoming a player in the battle for the GOP presidential nomination and will hold its primary on January 31, voting fourth in the primary and caucus calendar. Florida has a closed primary, allowing only registered Republicans to participate.
In hypothetical 2012 general election matchups, the poll indicates that President Barack Obama is deadlocked with Romney at 42%, with Obama holding a three point margin over Cain, 42 to 39%, which is within the sampling error. The president holds a 46 to 34% advantage over Perry and a 44 to 32% lead over Paul, and a 45 to 38% margin over Gingrich.
The poll also asks about Rubio, the Republican freshman senator from Florida. If Rubio was the GOP vice presidential nominee, the poll indicates the Republican ticket holds a 46 to 41% margin in the Sunshine state.
"Marco Rubio secures Florida which, along with Ohio, is one of the two most important swing states to win, said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Boston's Suffolk University. "He also adds potential strength in states like New Mexico, Texas, California, Arizona, and Nevada, which have high Hispanic populations."
Rubio has repeatedly said he has no interest in serving on the GOP ticket.
While the poll indicates that Obama struggles in Florida the low 40 percent range on job performance and possible 2012 head-to-head matchups with Romney and Cain, he rises to 50 percent in a hypothetical match up when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is added to the Democratic ticket, as the running mate.
"Clinton has become the quantifiable lifeboat that could save a sinking Democratic ticket in 2012," adds Paleologos.
But Clinton has repeatedly shot down any suggestions that she would join the ticket next year and the White House has shot down any suggestions that Vice President Joe Biden would be replaced on the ticket.
The Suffolk University poll was conducted October 26-30, with 800 Florida registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
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Rubio is a proven LIAR. End of story.
I am so sick of these stupid match-ups involving Hillary Clinton. My God CNN can't you for once be decent and quit trying to beat a dead horse?
Obama/Biden 2012. America's cure.
There is no Rubio effect here in Florida. Unless you are speaking of how big of a LIAR he is.
1. As I understand it, unless Rubio proves he is not a dual citizen, he cannot be President. Being V-P nominee would
put him too close to becoming President. Maybe that's why "he has no interest", he knows he is not qualified.
2. Where is your story on the Republican House of Representatives voting on a REaffirmation of the motto,
"In God We Trust", and why are they doing this and where did they get the to time to think this one up. The motto
is on our money to stay. If they are trying to, once again, put down President Obama and his use of "e pluribus unum",
they have proven, yet again, their self-centered shallowness. They have no sense of pride, no respect for
America, the people, nor themselves.
Rubio might be able to deliver Florida, but that's it. He has largely aliented Hispanic voters and he is phony. He would be of no use in Ohio.
Marc Rubio is a child. Florida, please ...........
I am so sick of polls, polls, polls. And who cares what happens in Florida, the armpit of the country?
Rubio is as bad a flip-flopper as Romney.
He's told a dozen different versions of the story about his family and Cuba.
dont really care, i live in florida, and will not vote for any republican, all arguments made by all the candidates still back the rich, and honestly dont trust any of the candidates....sorry I'm voting for Obama for re-election.
Rubio is a downright liar who fabricated stories about his family's move to Cuba. I'm certain that this will bite him big if he should decide to join the republican ticket as Vice President. These polls say absolutely nothing about what will happen in November 2012? It's just a way to lure Rubio into the fray, but when he's being vetted he will prove a disaster to the ticket. The republicans are still living in a dreamworld. Romney is nothing near to a match up with Obama.
If Rubio enters the race he will soon be revealed, just like Herman Cain is.
Too bad. Hillary has it all.
Rubio is just a fresh face that still hasn't done anything for the state of Florida.
i would LOVE to see Hillary as the Veep. But – she is the best Sec of State we have had in a long time, and I'm not sure that she would take a back seat to Obama there. Then again...she takes a back seat now. What does the Veep do anyway? Biden as SecofSt? That kinda seems scary.
Just shows how gullible people in FL are. Cain's 9-9-9 plan is juvenile and so is he. Ron Paul's "fortress America" worked real good before WW1 & WW2. I voted for Obama, but will likely vote Romney. Harvard law + Harvard MBA. CEO of an intl strategy firm, governor of MA a tough state, pulled Olympics out of trouble in Salt Lake. Family man who seems to get RESULTS whatever he does.
They should just scrape this poll since it was being taken when 2 news stories were just breaking about 1 of the individuals, Rubio ; and not yet in the news was the Cain situation. The results are meaningless now.
@Woman in California:
Hillary Clinton may just resuscitate that Obama horse.
As a Cuban American, I tried to warn Floridians of Rubio.
I was a democrat and a huge Clinton supporter, who left the party for good after the smear tactics employed by Obama and his media pals in the 2008 primaries. I am not surprised that he is doing a lousy job, or that his supporters are now disappointed and have a buyers remorse that they would have been better off with Clinton. Nor is it surprising that she is doing a fabulous job at state, and she is the only one with great ratings among his admin. I sincerely hope that Hillary will decline his lousy VP offer, if it comes. We all remember the contempt with which Barry rejected Hillary's request for the slot in 08. Now if he makes an offer, it is only to save his skin. The reality is that everything he does these days is t save his job, and not anything for the country. Clinton shuld tell him to take a hike. His boat has already sunk. You could field a donkey and it will win against Obama in 2012. HIllary can focus on some private sector gig until 2015, and then come back – if the stupid Dems learnt anything, they will put her at the top of the ticket the next time, and people like me will come back to the fold.
I live in Florida and I will not be voting for these liars. Ron paul has my vote.
Polling must not be going as good as expected for Flipping Mitt for CNN to keep including Hillary Clinton in a poll as a potential V.P. pick. Last I heard she is Secretary of State and is clearly not interested in becoming Vice President. As for Rubio, well, he has his own issues to worry about now, making him an even more unlikely candidate for Vice President than Hillary.
Dems know a liar when they see one. Obama and Billary Clinton are the two biggest liars to ever occupy the whitehouse.
Enough with the Clinton's already! Her husband was one of the worst President's in this country's history. She is nothing more than a harpy. Enough.
I live in Florida and will vote for Rubio in election over my deadbody!
With how the republican candidates saga changing daily, these polls mean absolutely nothing. I am with President Obama, will wait until everyone is voted off the island before I pay attention.