Marco Rubio Could Be Mitt Romney's Key Weapon In Florida

Rubio Romney

Photo: AP

Today’s Quinnipiac swing state poll of Florida gives Mitt Romney a significant 6-point lead over President Barack Obama — 47 per cent to 41 per cent. We’ve pointed out that Florida is a virtual must-win for Romney this fall, and Moody’s breakdown this morning gives even more reason that will be true come November

The Quinnipiac poll hints at how Romney can better ensure a Florida victory in November: Pick Marco Rubio as his running mate.

This is the first empirical evidence that Rubio provides a significant boost for the Republican ticket in his home state. Rubio even swings the Hispanic vote to Romney, which is huge. In 2008, Obama captured two-thirds of the Hispanic vote in Florida.

Obama Romney poll

Photo: Quinnipiac.edu

As you can see, Rubio bumps up Romney’s overall lead to 8 points, giving him two more percentage points while Obama stays at 41 per cent. He also gives Romney another point among Independent voters — a huge 9-point gap. 

Among Hispanics, Obama leads Romney by just 2 per cent, which is really low as it is. But when Rubio is added to the ticket, Romney swings to a 45 to 39 lead. That’s an 8-point swing.

There have been doubts about Rubio’s effect on the Hispanic vote in Florida. A Public Policy Polling survey in mid-April found that Rubio had absolutely no effect on the Hispanic vote, which PPP found was at 15-point Romney disadvantage (52 to 37 per cent).

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