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Pre-VP poll in Florida shows McCain with 3-point lead

A Florida Chamber of Commerce poll completed a day before Democrat Barack Obama announced Joe Biden as his running mate gives John McCain a lead of 42-39 percent with 13 percent of the voters still undecided.

The poll, taken Aug. 18-21 for the chamber and Maitland pollster Jim Kitchens, surveyed 605 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The poll also shows that the two candidates cancel each other out when it comes to crossover voters. McCain's strength among Republicans is 77 percent, according to the poll, with 10 percent of the Republicans saying they would vote for Obama. Meanwhile, Obama's strength among Democrats was 70 percent with 11 percent of the Democratic voters saying they would vote for McCain.

South Florida voters prefer Obama overwhelmingly. In Miami-Dade, Obama leads McCain 54-32 percent; in Broward 51-30 percent and in West Palm Beach 43-31 percent. By contrast, McCain commands a deep lead in North Florida.

Other interesting highlights show that voters are divided when it comes to race, gender and sex. Male voters prefer McCain over Obama 44-35 percent, while Obama leads McCain 43-40 percent among women. McCain leads 50-30 percent among white voters while Obama trounces McCain among African-Americans 84-5 percent. Among Hispanics, Obama has the edge with a lead of 49-32 percent over McCain. Download florida_chamber_presidential_poll_082508.pdf

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