(CNN) – A new poll of likely voters in Florida released Thursday indicates Republican nominee Mitt Romney has an edge over President Barack Obama in the state.
The Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald poll shows Romney up seven percentage points with 51% of likely Florida voters' support to Obama's 44%. Romney's advantage is within the poll's sampling error. The same survey conducted one month ago showed a much tighter race between the candidates in the Sunshine State with Obama up 48% to Romney's 47%.
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The Florida survey was conducted entirely after the first presidential debate, following what was largely considered an unenthusiastic showing from the president. The Romney campaign capitalized on the GOP candidate's lauded performance while the president conceded Thursday that he had a "bad night" last week in Denver.
According to a CNN/ORC International survey conducted right after the debate, 67% of debate watchers questioned said that the Republican nominee won the contest, with one in four saying that President Barack Obama was victorious. National polls released in the days following the debate continued to indicate Romney received a post-debate bounce.
"There's no question in my mind that debate made people stand up and pay attention, and it really wiped away any questions people had about Romney, whether they were undecided or soft for Obama," Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research told the Tampa Bay Times.
An NBC/WSJ/Marist poll, however, released hours before Thursday's vice presidential debate indicated the candidates are in a dead heat among likely Florida voters with Obama at 48% and Romney at 47%. Obama had 47% and Romney had 46% in their poll from early last week.
Senior Obama adviser David Plouffe pushed back on the Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald poll's findings, telling the Times that the survey "is just not rooted in reality."
"We got 57 percent of the Latino vote, according to exit (polls) last time. We think we'll probably push 60 or above this time," Plouffe said Thursday. The campaign believes the president has an edge over Romney by a point or two and a floor support in the state of 47%.
Last month, polls showed Obama slightly ahead over Romney.
The latest CNN Poll of Polls - which is an average of six Florida polls of likely voters conducted over the past week two weeks - taken September 16-30 shows Obama with an advantage in the state, 50% to Romney's 45%.
The Times poll showed Romney ahead of Obama on a host of issues; including who likely voters believe would help improve the economy, protect Medicare – a boon for the state's large senior citizen population – and who is better looking out for the middle-class.
The battleground state holds a highly-contested 29 electoral votes and is considered a "toss up" on CNN's Electoral Map.
The president attended a campaign rally in Coral Gables, Florida Thursday before Vice President Joe Biden took the stage with Republican running mate Paul Ryan in Danville, Kentucky for the only vice presidential debate.
Shortly after the debate, Obama congratulated the vice president on what the campaign viewed as a stellar performance telling reporters in Washington that he "couldn't be prouder" of Biden. A CNN/ORC poll, nationwide poll conducted right after Thursday night's faceoff, showed debate watchers split over the winner of the match-up. Forty-eight percent of voters who watched the debate thought Ryan was victorious while 44% said Biden won. The Republican running mate's four point advantage among a debate audience that was more Republican than the country as a whole is within the survey's sampling error.
Though vice presidential debates are unlikely to tip the scales Thursday's survey in Florida as well as national polls suggest Romney's performance had an effect on voters.
The presidential contenders will square off for the second time in New York on October 16 in a debate moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley.
The Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald survey consisted of 800 telephone interviews of likely Florida voters and was conducted from October 8-10 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research for the Times and its media partners. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
In the debate last night Ryan repeated the talking points for his ticket ... tax breaks and increasing the military budget is the solution to the problems in this country. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT GOT US IN THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE! I don't understand why low information people don't understand how disasterous these two would be for the country. Oh well, I think Obama / Biden win in a close race. If you want to know about polls, Nate Silver is probably the best guy out there.
Liz go back to your far right fox new and listen to your man rush. Obama is not a embarrassment. Its you who is the embarrassment on wanting to vote for romney. You call obama fraud because he had to campaign in Nevada when stuff hit the fan. When romney spent millions on voters fraud in states of colorado and florida! shesh . Republicans are so egh!
Can you say landslide.
I believe that Romney will pull ahead in other states too. The Biden/Ryan debate was probably the final horror show that independents needed to see. Although I don't believe there was a clear winner I was appalled at the behavior of our Vice President. He was rude and disrespectful to a decent and bright man who came to the debate expecting a back and forth on the issues. What he got was a sneering, boorish, clown who evidently just wanted a few laughs.
Joe clearly won. Everytime ryan tried on of their lies Joe shot him down. Enough with mittens and ryan. They will whip out social security and medicare. Florida better wake up. anyone 55 or younger is in big trouble if those two clowns get elected. The only embarassment is the rest of the world watching mitt and ryan lie over and over and Americans not calling them out. Vote all repos out. Smiling while you lie does not make you a good debater. Thats the same thing mitt did in the last debate. Fact check for gosh sakes. He lies ryan lies. THey both are big fat liers.
Anonymous – Biden had more "facts" – like when he interrupted Ryan trying to appear knowledgeable and shouting "Syria is FIVE TIMES larger than Libya"? – In truth, Libya is almost TEN times larger than Syria. For some reason, I don't think this will get much coverage on the news as an example of Biden's "great" foreign policy knowledge.
"Likely voters" never seems to include college students and recent grads. That's how Obama took North Carolina in 2008 even though McCain had a slight edge.
what a disgrace of a man this willard is...really.
Craig Adams MD – you say Romney will "destroy" medicare, but have no qualms about Obama taking over $700B from the program. He said he would do it by "paying doctors and hospitals less". You put an MD after your name – do YOU honestly think doctors and hospitals will just take less? Medicaid around here did the same thing, and guess what, more doctors DROPPED medicaid and/or see fewer medicaid patients.
You must understand that Tampa is a republican district and the Miami herald is republican cubans.I assure you Florida will not fall to Willard/ryan
Biden called out all of Ryan's lies. Great. Ryan was caught all the time saying things exactly opposite of what he had done. Go Biden!!!
No one should be surprised to read this since Florida seems to have issues with voting every single election. It's the epicenter of voter fraud.
I am a canadian. Canadians are happy to have Obama and Biden with us. Americans are blinded!
if I am an American, I would go forward and not backward.
Floridians are seeing the two different choices they have for the future. Obamacare will take $716 Billion dollars out of Medicare hurting our seniors. Businesses will not hire because they can't afford the cost of Obamacare and the economy will continue to falter. The state and local communities will be forced to layoff teachers, police, and fireman because the tax base will continue to decline uder Obama's policies and programs. The choice is very clear. Four more years of the same failed policies or four years of job growth and economic prosperity. Floridians are tired of speeches and promises. They are tired of home foreclosures and no jobs. They are tired of high gas and food prices. They will vote for a change.
Without Ohio it doesn't matter for Romney!
None has ever accounted for my first time vote. And do you all think I'm not a likely voter? It's going to be a November surprise.
rMoney can't win without Ohio. It's over.
You know when you receive the annual Social Security Statement from the gov't showing how much you made every year and what your benefits will be? It clearly states Social Security will run out in the 2020s. That's an official statement from our government. I need, we need, somebody to fix that so I can get social security when I hit that age. the current administration has done nothing for me.
A victory for Romney-Ryan team. Well done.
Harlon....It's the same $700 Billion that Ryan takes from the plan. The only difference is that Ryan just takes it. What Obama does is uses this to give recipients more benefits....closes the donut hole, wellness care. Obama puts it back into the plan. Ryan uses it for his tax cut for the wealthy. Ryan couldn't argue with the truth last night.
Biden behaved like a disgraceful ignorant idiot. Romney did not interrupt Obama; he started talking when Obama's time was up and he thought he was finished. At no time was Obama cut short of his full two minutes. Obama stole time and so did Biden. Our goose is cooked no matter the election outcome. Romney has a tough row to hoe because both friends and enemies are opposed to him and that will probably continue if and when he is elected. This I know for sure; everything costs more since Obama has presided and I have less money to buy it while the banks have record profits.
Harlon have you ever looked at the population differences between Syria and Libya?
Romney/Ryan are getting the majority of the Jewish vote across the country... finally...we'll definitely have a landslide and obama can go back community organizing in Chicago...and he can definitely take his cronies back with him...
It's okay to vote for a change but Romney/Ryan is not change. It's going back to the same policies that got us into this mess...no regulation on Wall Street...unpaid wars It didn't work then and it won't work now.