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Union-backed poll of FL: Obama-Romney tied, but prez could lead by 5 with early voters

UnionpollAmericans United for Change, a union-backed group, released a one-page memo from a Mellman Group poll of Florida voters showing the race dead even in Florida: President Obama and Mitt Romney are tied 47-47.

"Our just completed survey shows that the presidential race in the Sunshine State will be yet another nail-biter, but President Obama has some key advantages over Romney beneath the surface," the memo said.

The most intriguing aspect of the poll: Obama might lead Romney 50-45 percent among voters who already cast ballots; about 5 percent refused to say for whom they voted. As today, that number of absentee-ballot voters is 830,000 in Florida. When the poll was taken (Oct. 18-21) the number of absentee voters was about 750,000.

Caveat: we don't know if the numbers are good because there are no crosstabs and it's not clear how many respondents were Republicans, Democrats and independents there are. Still, Democrats are holding their own with absentee ballots cast and they typically dominate in-person early voting, set to begin Saturday. Obama and Romney will be in the state around that time to turn out the early vote.

Here's more from the memo:

The President leads registered independents 49%-44% (7% undecided), and self-described moderates by a larger 59% to 29% margin. Our results also suggest Obama holds an image advantage among the undecided—with 41% holding a favorable and 37% unfavorable. However undecideds harbor quite negative views of Governor Romney, with just 25% favorable and a 51% majority offering an unfavorable opinion of the GOP challenger.

The President holds sizeable leads among several key groups, including women (51%-45%), younger (under 50) voters (51% to 40%), Hispanics (60%-39%), and African-Americans (90%-7%).

With a strong and disciplined get-out-the vote effort, President Obama has a strong chance to repeat his 2008 win in Florida.