Mitt Romney Leads New Florida Poll; Ron Paul Most Unfavorable Candidate but Places Fourth

With this afternoon's release of Public Policy Polling's survey of Florida Republican voters, Florida became the first Southern state polled by the firm that didn't select Texas Gov. Rick Perry as its front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination.

Instead, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads the Florida field, based on the opinions of 472 Florida Republicans, leading Perry 30 percent to 24 percent.

Among the various questions asked in the survey, the pollsters found that Rep. Ron Paul is the most unfavorable GOP presidential candidate in the field, 37 percent of Republican voters want someone other than Gov. Rick Scott as the party's nominee in the next gubernatorial election, and people still don't know who the hell the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate race are.

According to the survey results, Paul received the most unfavorable rating among himself, Romney, Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Michele Bachmann -- 45 percent said they had an unfavorable view of Paul, which was worse than Bachmann (37 percent) and Perry (31 percent), who were the next two most-unfavorable.

Still, Paul placed fourth in polling for the party's presidential nomination -- losing to Romney, Perry, and Gingrich but beating out pizza man Herman Cain (7 percent) and Bachmann (6 percent) as well as former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who all garnered less than 3 percent.

In survey results from the same polling that haven't yet been released, Public Policy Polling says it found just one Jew out of the 476 Floridians surveyed who would support Perry over President Obama.

Then there's Gov. Scott. In a question seemingly out of left field, just 53 percent of the Republican respondents said they wanted Scott to be the GOP candidate for governor in the next election. Just 37 percent said they wanted someone else, and 10 percent weren't sure.

Scott also received a 59 percent approval rating from his party's voters.

On the topic of which Republican is going to take on Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012, people still don't know -- which has been a trend in recent polls.

Mike McCalister leads the pack at 17 percent, ahead of George LeMieux at 13 percent, which are both well below the ever-popular "Someone else/Not sure" option at 58 percent.

The Republicans know who Sen. Marco Rubio is -- he got an 80 percent approval rating from his party's voters, but when the survey gauged the popularity of the Senate candidates, the four Republican hopefuls received an answer of "not sure" with levels between 71 percent for LeMieux and 89 percent for Craig Miller.

For the full survey results, click here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley