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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rasmussen: Romney holds strong lead among older Florida voters despite Ryan, Medicare issue



Rasmussen telephone survey of likely Florida voters: Mitt Romney 45, Barack Obama 43.

This is the first survey of the race in the Sunshine State since Romney announced the Wisconsin congressman as his vice presidential choice. Last month, it was Romney 46%, Obama 45%. 

Retirees are a sizable bloc of voters in Florida, and Democrats are already criticizing Ryan’s Medicare reform proposal in an effort to win those voters. But 48% of the state’s voters fear the president’s health care law more than Ryan’s proposal when it comes to the future of Medicare. Just 41% fear Ryan’s proposal more.

Among seniors, 54% are more fearful of the president’s plan. Romney now holds a 24-point lead over Obama among Florida voters 65 and older. Last month, the GOP challenger held a 17-point lead in this age group.

Voters 65 and older also view Ryan more favorably than younger voters do. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of these older voters express a favorable opinion of Ryan, including 42% with a Very Favorable view of him. Fifty-four percent (54%) of retirees say Romney made the right choice when he picked Ryan, and 50% say they are more likely to vote for the Republican with Ryan on the ticket. Twenty-nine percent (29%) in this group say they are less likely to vote for Romney because of Ryan.

The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Florida was conducted on August 15, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of voters who fear the health care law more favor Romney. Obama earns 84% support from voters who are more scared of Ryan’s proposal.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of all voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Medicare, while only 28% view the government health insurance program for retirees unfavorably. This includes 29% with a Very Favorable opinion and nine percent (9%) with a Very Unfavorable one. That’s a slightly more favorable opinion than voters express nationally.

Florida voters share similar views of Ryan compared to voters nationwide. Ryan is seen favorably by 47% in Florida and unfavorably by 33%. This includes 28% with a Very Favorable view and 23% with a Very Unfavorable one. Ten percent (10%) are not familiar with him.

Forty-three percent (43%) of Florida voters say Romney made the right choice; 32% disagree, and 24% are not sure. Thirty-three percent (33%) say the Ryan selection will make them more likely to vote for Romney. Thirty-seven percent (37%) say they are less likely to do so, while 26% say it will have no impact on their voting decision.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) think Ryan is ready to be president if necessary, but 45% disagree. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided. Seventy-eight percent (78%) describe Ryan as a conservative, including 49% who say he’s Very Conservative.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 11:34am]


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