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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Poll: McCalister, Romney leading Republican primaries in Florida



Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads the field of Republican presidential candidates in Florida and is tied with President Obama in the state, according to a new Quinnipiac poll released this morning. Obama's approval rating in Florida, 44 percent, is down from 51 percent in May. (Story here.)

Mike McCalister leads the pack in the GOP U.S. Senate primary with 15 percent. McCalister, a Plant City tree farmer, was not included in the last poll in July. In his first race for office in 2010, he finished with a surprising 10 percent of the vote in the three-way Republican primary for governor.

McCalister was followed in the poll today by former Sen. George LeMieux (12 percent), businessman Craig Miller (8 percent) and former state House Rep. Adam Hasner (6 percent). Most Republican voters (53 percent) remain undecided.

More from the poll:

• On the national debt ceiling debate, 50 percent of Floridians approve of the deal, 37 percent disapprove. Most described the deal saying they were, "satisfied, not enthusiastic."

• U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) leads a generic Republican challenger, 46-35.

• Nelson has a 45 percent approving. His Republican colleague, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, has a 49 percent rating.

• Voters are split about whether Obama deserves a second term: 47 percent say yes, 46 percent say no.

Here's the Republican presidential field in Florida: Romney (23) Perry (13), Palin (9), Paul (9), Cain (8) Bachmann (6) Gingrich (4), Pawlenty (3), Huntsman (1), Santorum (1). Seventeen percent said they were undecided.

The poll surveyed 674 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent. August 1 - 2, 743 registered voters were surveyed with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percent. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The total survey of 1,417 registered voters surveyed from July 27 - August 2 includes 510 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent.

See the poll here.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 4, 2011 4:53pm]


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