Poll: Romney tied with Obama in Florida

Chris Moody

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is now tied with President Obama in Florida, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

The poll suggests a shift in voter sentiment took place during the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling. Before Obama announced the deal this week, he led Romney in the state by five points, but the pollsters now find Romney and Obama both at 44 percent. And among independents, Obama's disapproval rating rose to 61 percent from 47 percent after the deal.

"President Barack Obama's numbers in the key swing state of Florida have gone south in the last two months. The debt ceiling deal is not making any difference in that decline and any bounce he got from the bin Laden operation is long since gone," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The president's drop off is huge among independent voters who now disapprove almost 2-1."

Obama still maintains a strong lead over the other Republican presidential candidates.  Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann trails the president by 12 points in the state. However, the closest contender after Romney hasn't even officially entered the race. The survey found that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, widely expected to announce sometime next month, trails Obama by just 44-39 percent.

Florida has proven itself in recent election cycles to be a vital swing state. Obama took Florida in the 2008 presidential contest against Arizona Sen. John McCain, and the state voted Republican in 2004 and 2000.