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Instant analysis: Key takeaways from today’s PPP poll showing Obama up 4 in Florida

By on September 24, 2012

A Public Policy Polling survey hows Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 50 – 46 percent. Going inside the crosstabs of the poll, here are some instant key takeaways.

1. This poll is almost all good news for Obama, but PPP gets accused of leaning too hard to the left, so I think they attempted to tramp down the enthusiasm. Still, it’s hard to miss the big numbers in this survey: it’s a 3 point improvement for Obama since PPP’s last poll of Florida and it represents the largest lead PPP has found for Obama in Florida since early June.

2. As Tom Jensen notes, Romney’s image with Floridians has taken a turn in the wrong direction since his party gathered in Tampa for its convention. Consultants and pundits try so hard to dismiss the impact of modern political conventions. Think about how many times you’ve heard a talking head dismiss conventions as just an infomercial. They are infomericals, but it’s clear in this polling that Romney’s infomercial, otherwise known as the 2012 RNC, fell flat. In fact, history may write that one of two or three biggest miscues of Romney’s campaign was his poor showing in Tampa. Romney’s favorability has dropped a net 9 points from +2 at 49/47 over Labor Day weekend to now -7 at 44/51.

3. The most disturbing numbers in this poll for Republicans has to be the enthusiasm gap. 72% of Democrats say they’re ‘very excited’ to vote in the election compared to 68% of GOP voters. And the single group most excited about voting is African Americans, 82% of whom say they are very excited. Put aside how this may impact the presidential election and consider how it could influence the outcome of the battleground congressional races, such as Patrick Murphy (D) vs. Allen West (R) and Lois Frankel (D) vs. Adam Hasner (R).  Heck, that kind of enthusiasm gap could put into play congressional and legislative seats long considered safe for the GOP.

***Update***Republican operative Rick Wilson tweets that the PPP poll has a +7 Democratic advantage based on the 2008 exit polls. Obviously, this did not sit well with Wilson.

4. I didn’t realize Democrats had been so lukewarm on the president. Previous to this poll, Romney was getting a pretty decent amount of crossover support from Democrats, getting 18% to 79% for Obama. Now, Democratic voters are more united around their nominee with 83% planning to support the President to 13% for Romney.

5. If there is one sliver of good news for Romney to be found in this poll its that Romney has a 53-45 advantage with seniors.

I guess the question political observers are faced with this morning is whether to put more stock in PPP’s poll showing Obama up by four or the Times/Herald poll showing the race deadlocked?

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