President Barack Obama has swung back into the lead over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the key swing state of Florida, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday.
The poll showed that 46 percent of Florida voters would vote for Obama if the election were held today, while 42 percent said they would vote for Romney.
Obama's four-point lead in the latest poll marks a significant turnaround from a poll conducted a month ago that showed Romney with a 47 percent to 41 percent lead.
Quinnipiac said Obama has benefited from a shift by independent voters, with the president leading 46 percent to 37 percent among independents in the latest poll compared to a 44 percent to 36 percent lead for Romney in May.
"The president is doing better among independent voters," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It also is worth noting that the last Quinnipiac University Florida poll was on the heels of the president's backing of gay marriage, which might have hurt him at that time."
He added, "At this point, Romney is not well-defined in the minds of many voters, especially those in the middle. This movement reflects that uncertainty among voters who are up for grabs."
The release of the poll results comes amid a report from Bloomberg News indicating that the Romney campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state's economy.
Citing two people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said the request came as Scott's upbeat tone clashed with Romney's message that the nation is suffering under Obama.
The Romney campaign denied the allegations, however, with spokeswoman Andrea Saul saying that Romney frequently praises governors "for their ability to overcome the job-stifling policies of the Obama Administration."
The Quinnipiac poll also showed Rep. Connie Mach, R-Fla., with an overwhelming lead in the Republican Senate primary, although he trails Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., by 43 percent to 39 percent in a potential general election matchup.
The survey of 1,697 registered Florida voters was conducted June 12th through 18th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
by RTT Staff Writer
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