Dole wins, another Texan fails and Pat Buchanan saves his surprise
Democrats - Tell Congress no more games

It's getting very cloudy for Obama in the Sunshine State

Obama cartoon If President Obama loses Florida in 2012, his presidency will be over.  A new Quinnipiac Poll is echoing what many Sunshine State Democrats are saying privately - Obama is losing his Florida support.

One Florida Democratic leader told Crowley Political Report that he has never been this discouraged. A party fundraiser grits his teeth and warns that Obama better start spending some quality time in Florida. Out of loyality, they did not want to named complaining about the president.

Republicans are almost giddy. As they flock to Orlando for Presidency 5 and the CPAC gathering, the party faithful are convinced that Obama is a one-term president. For Republicans the biggest quandry is which candidate they want to see in the White House.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry made an impressive showing with a group of about 30 party leaders and elected officials in West Palm Beach. Palm Beach County chairman Sid Dinerstein, who insists he is remaining neutral, was clearly charmed by Perry.

"I like what he has to say and he really listens," said Dinerstein.

The only dark moment came when Perry's goons, otherwise known as Texas Rangers, shut down the Kravis Center property to the media. The Kravis center has hosted scores of national political figures and the shut down was unprecedented.

One Ranger threatened to have a television reporter handcuffed if he tried to go the normal media staging area.  It was an unnecessary bullying tactic since Perry was using a back interest to enter the event site and was nowhere near the media. In fact, all Perry's folks accomplished was making it difficult for the TV stations to do interviews with guests who were praising the governor.

Brilliant advance work guys.

Meanwhile, the Quinnipiac Poll found that "Florida voters disapprove 57 – 39 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his worst score in any Quinnipiac University poll in any state."

No wonder Republicans are excited and Democrats are in a funk.

And here's the really bad news for the White House - "Obama does not deserve a second term, Florida voters say 53 – 41 percent." 

Here's a closer look at the Quinnipiac Poll (the results include the Florida U.S. Senate race):

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a small lead over the Republican presidential pack in Florida with 28 percent, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 22 percent, but Perry tops Romney 31 – 22 percent if Sarah Palin doesn’t run and leads Romney 46 – 38 percent in a two-man face-off, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Romney has barely moved since he led the Florida GOP pack with 23 percent in an August 4 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, while Perry has surged from 13 percent in that survey conducted before he formally announced his candidacy.

All Florida voters disapprove 57 – 39 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his worst score in any Quinnipiac University poll in any state. 

In possible 2012 presidential matchups, Romney tops the president 47 – 40 percent while Perry gets 42 percent to Obama’s 44 percent, a dead heat.  In the August 4 Florida poll, Romney and Obama were deadlocked 44 – 44 percent while the president led Perry 44 – 39 percent.

Obama does not deserve a second term, Florida voters say 53 – 41 percent. 

“Gov. Rick Perry has the lead – and the momentum – among Florida Republicans, while former Gov. Mitt Romney can point to a better general election showing,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Adding to Perry’s strength is support among Sarah Palin backers, who shift more to the Texas governor if the former Alaska governor stays out of the race.

“And when voters are asked to choose just between the two front-runners, Perry’s lead is eight points.” 

Perry leads Romney 55 – 35 percent among Republican voters who describe themselves as part of the Tea Party movement.  Perry leads 50 – 36 percent among GOP men and wins 42 percent of women to Romney’s 41 percent.

Most of the difference between how Romney and Perry run against President Obama is among independent voters.  The president leads Perry 42 – 36 percent among Florida independents, while Romney tops the president 44 – 35 percent among the same group.

“This finding is consistent with Quinnipiac University polls in other states and re-enforces Perry’s need to improve his standing with independent voters,” said Brown.

Voters in Florida, with the nation’s highest concentration of senior citizens, say 58 – 33 percent that it is “unfair” to describe Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme,” as Perry has done.  But among Republicans, the only ones allowed to vote in the state’s crucial primary, 52 percent say that is a fair way to describe the nation’s retirement system.

Perry’s position on Social Security leads 35 percent of Florida voters to think he wants to fix it, while 37 percent feel he wants to end it.  Republicans, however, say 60 – 14 percent that Perry wants to fix Social Security.

Florida voters, like voters nationwide, are opposed to virtually all proposals to reduce Social Security, with the exception of 65 – 28 percent support for raising the cap from the current $106,800 in salary subject to taxation.   Raising the Social Security salary cap will not lead employers to do less hiring, voters say 61 – 32 percent.

By 38 – 20 percent voters say they are less likely, rather than more likely, to support a presidential candidate who called for reducing the benefits for younger workers when they retire, while not touching those of current retirees.

In Florida’s U.S. Senate race, incumbent Bill Nelson deserves a second term, voters say 44 – 33 percent and Nelson leads an unnamed GOP candidate 43 – 34 percent.  In the Republican primary to challenge Nelson, 58 percent are undecided, with former Sen. George LeMieux at 17 percent, followed by businessman Mike McCalister with 11 percent.

From September 14 – 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,007 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.  Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.  The Republican primary includes 374 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percent.

Art by West Palm Beach artist Patrick Crowley

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport


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