By Anthony Man
5:07 PM EDT, October 31, 2012
With public opinion polling showing Florida too close to call the post-Superstorm Sandy presidential campaigns are showing up in full force to compete for the Sunshine State’s 29 electoral votes.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney is in Coral Gables on Wednesday afternoon for a rally at the University of Miami.
President Barack Obama plans a Florida campaign swing that includes a stop in Broward County on Sunday, according to a Democratic Party leader, who asked that his name not be used because he’s not authorized to announce the event before the Obama campaign.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the Obama campaign confirmed he'd be in Broward, but didn't announce any details.
In 2008, Obama held two large rallies at the hockey arena in Sunrise – then the BankAtlantic Center, now the BB&T Center – including one just day before the election.
Meanwhile Wednesday, a new Quinnipiac University Poll found Obama and Romney are neck and neck in Florida, the nation’s largest swing state.
Obama has 48 percent to Romney’s 47 percent, effectively a tie within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
As of Wednesday morning, the RealClearPolitics average of Florida polls also had the race at a dead heat, with 49 percent for Romney and 48 percent for Obama.
The trend in the Quinnipiac Poll is good news for Romney and bad news for Obama. A month ago, Quinnipiac had Obama ahead of Romney 53 percent to 44 percent among Florida voters.
Just 3 percent of Florida likely voters hadn’t made up their minds and 1 percent named a third-party candidate. Of the 96 percent who picked Obama or Romney, 96 percent said they’d made up their minds.
The poll, conducted by Oct. 23-28 by Quinnipiac, the New York Times and CBS News, found Romney was helped by increases support from women.
On the most critical issue, the economy, 49 percent of voters say Romney is best able to fix the economy while 47 percent pick Obama.
From Quinnipiac’s release about the poll:
Women likely voters in Florida back Obama 53 – 43 percent, down from 58 – 39 percent September 26.
Men back Romney 52 – 43 percent, compared to 50 – 47 percent in September.
White voters go Republican 59 – 37 percent, while black voters go Democratic 96 – 2 percent and Hispanic voters back Obama 57 – 39 percent.
Independent voters back Romney by a slim 49 – 44 percent margin.
In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson leads U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, the Republican challenger, 52 – 39 percent. Independent voters back Nelson 52 – 36 percent.
“The president has a 57 – 39 percent lead among Hispanics in Florida, almost certainly a smaller margin among Latino voters than he will get in most if not all other states,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “The difference is that Cuban-Americans, generally more Republican than other Latino groups, are a much larger share of the Hispanic vote in the Sunshine State.”
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