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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida is a tougher sell for Obama than four years ago



 The Colorado shooting cut short President Barack Obama's two-day swing through Florida, but count on him to return repeatedly between now and November. Practically every week, Floridians receive visits from the president, the vice president, the first lady or some other top surrogate for the administration.

There's good reason for it.

"When he shows up somewhere, he always leaves more popular than he was before he showed up. It really is the power of incumbency," said Democratic pollster Dave Beattie.

Florida being Florida, the presidential race is neck and neck between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney just more than 100 days from Election Day, with Obama averaging less than half a percentage point lead. Rewind the clock exactly four years, and Obama was tied with John McCain in Florida, too, and he wound up winning by nearly 3 percentage points.

Razor-thin presidential elections are typical in Florida, and there's no reason to think 2012 will be any different, particularly as undecided voters here tend to make up their minds late in the campaign. But the fundamental political headwinds are favoring Romney in America's biggest battleground state.

Recent polls consistently underscore Romney's advantages:

Story here


[Last modified: Sunday, July 22, 2012 2:31pm]


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