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PPP FL poll: Romney 49- Obama 48 (a 5-point Romney gain)

From Public Policy Polling, a firm that typically surveys for Democrats and liberals (Note: the poll differs from a Miami Herald survey last week, which had a 7-point Mitt Romney lead, although both show a Romney surge):

PPP's newest Florida poll finds a 5 point gain for Mitt Romney over the last three weeks. He now leads Barack Obama by a 49/48 margin, after trailing 50-46 in late September. The shift in the race is largely attributable to independent voters shifting their preferences. Where before Obama had a 51-40 advantage with them, now Romney's taken the lead by a 51/43 spread. When it comes to the biggest issue in the election, the economy, Romney's edge over Obama expands to 51/46 on who voters trust more.

Romney and Obama's images have headed in difference directions since the Presidential debate. Voters have warmed up to Romney a good bit, going from giving him a negative favorability rating at 44/51 to a positive one at 50/47. Meanwhile Obama's approval numbers have gone the other way. Where before he was on positive ground with 51% of voters approving of him to 47% who disapproved, now he's in slightly negative territory at 48/50.

There's been a fairly large shift among white voters over the last three weeks. They've gone from favoring Romney by 11 points at 53-42 to 17 points at 57-40. Non-white voters are pretty steady from the last poll including Hispanics who give Obama a slight edge at 50/47.  Obama has a small advantage with voters under 65, but Romney erases that with a 52/45 advantage among seniors. Likewise Obama's up with women (51-47) but Romney's ahead by even more with men (52-44).

The Vice Presidential debate doesn't seem to have made much of a difference with voters in the state. They think Biden won it 44/40, including a 45/34 victory with independents. But in spite of that they still have a more favorable opinion of Ryan (50/44 favorability) than they do of the Vice President (45/50).

Romney's gains aren't extending down the ballot. Bill Nelson leads Connie Mack IV 45-37 in the US Senate race, little different from a 46-37 spread three weeks ago. Nelson's got a good amount of crossover support, taking 17% of the Republican vote. And even though Obama's lost the lead with independents, Nelson still has a narrow advantage with them at 42-39. Nelson's not terribly popular, with a 38/41 approval rating. But Mack continues to be far more unpopular with only 32% of voters rating him favorably to 45% with a negative opinion.

Other notes from Florida:

-Rick Scott continues to be unpopular with only 37% of voters approving of him to 46% who disapprove. But he trails a generic Democrat only 45-43. His standing has improved quite a bit compared to a year ago.

-The generic Congressional ballot in the state is a tie at 44%, a 4 point improvement for Republicans from last month when they trailed 47-43.

This analysis is also available on our website: