Quinnipiac unveils a survey from Florida this morning that has good news for Rick Perry, ominous news for President Obama, and some frustrating news for Republican hopes in that state’s Senate race.
First, in the GOP presidential primary:
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.
While the political environment can change, right now the safer bet appears to be that Obama will not win Florida in 2012:
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.
If you’re wondering how the “Ponzi scheme” comment was playing in Florida . . .
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.
You can hear the chant in Florida: “Save Social Security! Do nothing! Save Social Security! Do nothing!”
Finally, in the Senate race, incumbent Bill Nelson ought to be vulnerable, but no GOP challenger has caught fire yet:
In Florida’s U.S. Senate race, Nelson deserves a second term, voters say 44 – 33 percent and he 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.