As always, Florida will be a critical swing state in the 2012 election. According to the latest Public Policy Polling survey, President Barack Obama currently has a 5-point lead over Mitt Romney. So what could Romney do to improve his chances? Well, he certainly shouldn't take Sarah Palin's advice and pick Allen West as his running mate. Though, he could do worse than West. He could pick Governor Rick Scott.
Both Republicans appear to be political poison in their home state right now.
Obama currently polls 50 percent compared to Mitt Romney's 45 percent in Florida. Obama has huge leads among women (16 percent), independents (19 percent), and Hispanics (15 percent).
Candidates can sometimes pick up a slight bump in a state by picking a politicians from that state. Though, according to the PPP poll, of all prominent Republicans in Florida only former Governor Jeb Bush would give Romney any noticeable bounce. Here's the breakdown of an Obama-Biden ticket against a Romney ticket featuring various Florida pols.
- Obama-Biden vs Romney-Bush: 49-46
- Obama-Biden vs Romney-Rubio 50-43
- Obama-Biden vs Romney-West: 50-40
- Obama-Biden vs Romney-Scott: 51-40
The West and Scott numbers aren't much of a surprise, but a Romney-Rubio ticket shows concerning weakness consider Marco Rubio is often mention in the mainstream media as a potential VP pick.
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There's not much evidence Rubio would be able to draw Hispanic voters to Romney. In the straight Obama/Romney match Obama leads 52-37 with Hispanics and in the Obama/Biden v. Romney/Rubio match Obama still leads 52-37 with Hispanics. Rubio is not an overwhelmingly popular figure in Florida with 43% of voters approving of him to 41% who disapprove.
Noticeably, Bush doesn't help much among Hispanics either. Florida Hispanics still prefer Obama over Romney 53-41 even with Bush on the ticket.