Let the horserace begin -- in a poll commissioned by Sunshine State News, pollsters say Florida voters would vote for Republican Mitt Romney over Democratic President Barack Obama in a hypothetical matchup between the two for president.
In a survey of 1,000 likely Florida voters, the poll company Voter Survey Service found 46 percent would select Romney, compared to 42 percent who would pick Obama.
It's the first of three polls Sunshine State News is releasing this week -- tomorrow, it'll publish Gov. Rick Scott's newest approval rating and on Friday will release public opinions on Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson as well as former Gov. Charlie Crist.
The poll numbers in favor of Romney come along with some negative opinions about Obama.
Just 38 percent said they approved of Obama's job performance, compared to 54 percent of respondents who said they disapproved.
The poll surveyed 420 each of self-identified Republicans and Democrats, as well as 160 who described themselves as independents.
Apparently avoiding the ludicrous idea that someone like Michele Bachmann could register on the radar in a hypothetical presidential matchup, Voter Survey Service President Jim Lee explains to Sunshine State News why the firm chose to poll Obama against Romney:
"Romney is clearly running as the 'most qualified' candidate to get the economy back on track, while candidates like Michele Bachmann and others are talking more about issues that play to the tea party base -- spending, deficits, not raising the debt limit, etc.
"Romney wins Republicans 74-14, while Democrats are voting for Obama 71-20, but independents are still up for grabs, with Romney leading 42-38."
Although Sunshine State News touts the past accuracy of polls they commission, tomorrow's poll gauging Gov. Scott's approval rating will likely be an indicator of how accurate this poll represents Florida voters.
This morning, Saint Petersblog's Peter Schorsch told New Times that if Scott's approval rating is reported to be higher than 40 percent, pretty much all of Sunshine State News' poll credibility is shot.
Over seven different polls since the governor took office, his approval rating has gone no higher than 35 percent and has been as low as 28 percent.
Click here to see the complete polling results from Sunshine State News and Voter Survey Service.
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