Obama, Palin get bad news in Florida poll
April 11th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama, Palin get bad news in Florida poll

Washington (CNN) – Dogged by a 34 percent approval rating among independents in Florida, a new poll out Monday indicates President Barack Obama would have a tough time beating either Republicans Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee in that crucial campaign state.

According to the new survey from Sachs/Mason Dixon, Obama trails both past and potential presidential 2012 candidates in head-to-head matchups in the Sunshine State, losing to Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, by a 48-43 percent margin and lagging behind Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, by a 49-44 percent spread.

Among all voters, Obama's approval rating in the Sunshine State stands at 43 percent, with 56 percent saying they are unhappy with his performance as commander-in-chief. That's consistent with a Quinnipiac University survey released last week that placed Obama's approval rating at 44 percent in the Sunshine state. The Quinnipiac survey also indicates that just over half of Florida voters don't think the president deserves re-election.

The new Florida poll may save its worst findings for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who loses to the president by a sizable 51-39 margin. That's a worse showing than business mogul Donald Trump, who lags 8 points behind Obama with a 48-40 percent spread.

In even worse news for Palin, the onetime GOP vice presidential nominee places sixth with only 5 percent of support among registered Republicans when it comes to the horserace for the GOP primary in Florida, behind Romney at 23 percent, Huckabee at 18 percent, Trump at 13 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 11 percent, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 8 percent.

The poll surveyed 800 registered Florida voters from April 4-7 and carries a sampling error of 3.5 percentage points. For the Republican primary breakdown, the poll surveyed 400 Republicans and carries a sampling error of 5 percentage points.

The survey comes as the Florida Republican Party is currently in a heated debate with other state parties over when it will hold its presidential primary. The state, per an official calendar adopted by the national party, had been slated to hold its nominating contest in March, behind the traditional first four – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.

But Florida Republicans bucked that request earlier this year when it leapfrogged those states, saying they will conduct their primary on January 31, 2012, in direct violation of the calendar ratified last year by the Democratic and Republican National Committees, which carved out February for the official start of the nomination fight.

But amid heavy criticism from national Republicans and those of other primary states, Republican Party of Florida chairman Dave Bitner indicated last month he is open to moving the state's primary date back behind the traditional four.

Florida has famously see-sawed between the Democrats and Republicans in recent presidential elections: Obama carried the state by 3 percentage points in 2008 while former President George W. Bush won there by 5 points in 2004. And of course, Bush barely won the state in 2000 after a drawn-out recount.

- CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Debbie from Arizona

    Why do polls like this make it onto CNNs Ticker? They only polled 800 people in Florida for goodness sake.

    April 11, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. annie s

    Obama and the Dems have done the worst job in the world in getting any message out to the people, so they have plenty of work to do – but if they do it and do it right, the seniors in South Florida will finally understand that the Republicans are trying to do away with Medicare. And if that happens, it's a whole different ball game.

    April 11, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Palin disappeared during the budget debates because she's not smart enough to deal with numbers, she avoided the media like a plague. After that was over, like saved by the bell, Palin stands with Trump on something that is so stupid and has nothing to do with the budget but is simple enough for her to stick her two cents in. Palin can't think her way out of a paper sack, she's dumber than dumb.

    April 11, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. Diana

    Every time I see an article referring to this woman, I will give another meaning of the word "Rogue", the one word she chose to describe herself for the title of her book.
    Today's description is 'swindler'.

    April 11, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Marry

    When Floridians start comparing the candidates they will see that the GOP/TP has nothing to offer. Just a bunch of none-starters with wired accusations towards the President and no plans to benefit the people. When they speak you can believe only one thing: They want power to take from 98% to shove it into the direction of 2%. We have been there and look what “good” that did.

    April 11, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. lynn

    Sure Huckabee is "a favorite son" of Florida now. He took the money earned as Arkansas Gov. and built a Florida mansion, sticking it to Arkansans. He pandered to the illegal's as Gov., then left us with the mess of a large population of illegal's sucking from the trough of public sympathy. The Floridians handed G.W. Bush his last term, they don't care about who the better candidae is,just stick it to the Democrats. They don't even know how to punch a ballot, maybe a class in ballot punching would be helpful before next election.

    April 11, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    Romney MAY give Obama a run in the general election. NOT ONE of the others stands a chance of even coming close. Once the conventions are done and the GOP have their candidate, we'll see how Huckelberry, Newter, or the others do.

    April 11, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. MiddleOfTheRoad

    Go away sarah Palin. The backlash from anger is subsiding. People are looking for solutions. You are not a solution.....you are an embarrassent.

    April 11, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. kyle

    Obama is being polled against people who are making no decisions on the economy, that sounds like the GOP!

    April 11, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  10. AEK

    These are the same nice folks who elected Rick Scott and Marco Rubio in the last election. Just sayin'!

    April 11, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. BeverlyNC

    That's hard to believe since it is President Obama who has worked to protect Social Security and Medicare from Republican destruction of those programs, who has increased funding for veteran programs, and has looked out for Seniors. Their new Republicans Governor Scott has been destroying their state, increased their budget deficit, turned awau federal funding for infrastructure repair and expansion, raised taxes on seniors and the poor, and gave away the state's money to corporations.
    I guess seniors are more likely to distrust a black man when he is actually the one protecting them, looking our for their healthcare, benefits, retirement, pensions, and dignity, Too bad they have fallen into the trap of Republican hate and lies. Republicans are destroying their qualiity of life, their rights, and making it harder for them to vote.The AARP needs to get down there and wake them up to the truth before they vote against their own best interests.

    April 11, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. Clinko

    She's right on whether she's liked or not.

    April 11, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. bill

    I think this is because Florida is a Gop State, Dah? Their Teapartiers,their voting record is "unreliable". Mr. Gore should have been President,but recieved Bush,because the voting in Florida was not Done correctly? Look at the Govenor they voted in? His Health Corporation was fined millions,for overcharging Medicare,and now he wants to do away with Medicare,he already has enough "Greenbacks" in his pocket now from Medicare,why should he care? Good Party place for Teaparty,sunny Florida?????

    April 11, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. Rsprings

    Stop with the Palin stuff..she isn't running.

    April 11, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    Florida is typically a red state. However since most seniors live there, I suspect that once the President hits the campaign trail and begins touting the Affordable Care Act, which is saving seniors money, his poll numbers will go back up. He will also have to fght for keeping Social Security sustainable for the future.

    April 11, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. all the news that's fit to omit

    Last time I checked CNN, Palin wasn't running.

    Can you EVER do a poll where the bad news for Obambi is just noted as such or is there an inherent liberal need to demean her for doing absolutely nothing?

    I know the answer, fon't bother, you're ratings say it all.

    April 11, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. Name king

    Hey I say let them old retired social getting and medicare/medicafe depending folks down their in Florida vote in the repugs, I hope they don't complane after that. I am tired of the fuss any ways. when they kick them black man out and the senate and congress are controlled by the repugs, things will be great again,'just like the good old bush days. The rich will be deregulated so they can start businesses where the money at, CHINA! those good old folks will be relieved, when the black man is gone, and the rich are allowed to do any thing and go any where they want to. I hppe we will still have a little demand power left to still attrack them, to be patriotic and put profits aside to keep
    investing-in America.

    April 11, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. Irma in North Carolina

    Its a shame that Cnn would even mention the president and Palin in the sentence.

    April 11, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. Dennis

    Neither of these two should be President. Hopefully 2012 will bring a good candidate. It's been far too long since we've had a good President.

    April 11, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. The Dude

    Flori-duh at it's best! I suspect that out of the 800 polled, there is a high probability that half of them don't own a cell phone or drive a car anymore, and may not live to see the 2012 election. Old people don't want change, unless they have bladder control problems.

    April 11, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. Frank

    This is possibly the most meaningless poll ever (except for some doozies CNN puts up on its daily page).

    April 11, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. Realistic

    Enough with polls, please. whay don't pollsters have a poll for how many people dislike polls? I bet the people who dislike *all the time polls about every possible election result against who ever is in the news* would be 96% dislike.

    April 11, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. KathyC in Minnesota

    With the attitude of many voters. why would anyone vote REPUBLICAN?

    I have a few assumptions...PRO-GUN, ANTI-ABORTION, ANTI-GAY.The Social issues more than the fiscal ones. The GOP are showing that they are not for the PEOPLE per say, but for the PEOPLE Citizen's United ruling that says they are.

    April 11, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. rusty155

    I can't Believe any body would vote on any Republican over President Obama. There isn't a Republican that running worth voting for. At lease President Obama Isn't going to try and take away everything from the Middle Class , the Poor and the OLD like the Republican are trying to do. Vote for Obama in 2012.

    April 11, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. Tam

    Too early. The whole thing is a pathetic circus, with Repub. clowns as potential candidates. Even a clown shoe size is larger than their collective IQs.

    April 11, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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