Polls: Romney Gains Five Points In Florida, Closes Gap On Hispanic Voters

If Barack Obama wants to win Florida and nab its vital 29 electoral votes, he's got some big-time work to do at tomorrow's debate. 

Two new polls out today find not only that Mitt Romney has gained five points in Florida since dominating in the first debate, but more worryingly for the prez that he's come close to equalling Obama's support among Hispanics in the Sunshine State. 

The first poll, which comes from Public Policy Polling, finds that Romney now leads Obama in Florida 49 to 48 percent. 

That's within the range of error, but it confirms what other recent polls have found -- Romney got a big bounce among independents with his debate dismantling of Obama. PPP's last poll in Florida in late September had Obama with a 50 to 46 percent lead. 

That change came mostly via independent voters, who favored Obama 51 to 40 percent before the debate and now prefer Romney 51 to 43 percent.

"Voters have warmed up to Romney a good bit," the

polling firm writes

. "Meanwhile Obama's approval numbers have gone the other way."

A second poll sponsored by the Miami Herald and FIU, meanwhile, finds Obama crushing Romney among Hispanic voters everywhere except Florida.

The difference here? Yep, Cuban-Americans, who are starting to mass behind Mitt Romney's campaign after a lukewarm start. 

A survey of 1,000 Hispanic voters found Obama destroying Romney nationwide 66 to 33 percent. In Florida, though, Obama's only leading 51 to 44 percent.

Subtract the Cuban vote from the poll, the Herald reports, and Obama's Florida numbers are similar to his national support -- 66 percent to 33 percent.

As usual, it seems, the battle for Florida could well come down to Miami-Dade's Cuban-American turnout. 

Hey Obama: Why not throw an anti-Castro line or two into the debate on Tuesday? 

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