Even worse for Obama, his lead among women has shrunk to only two points.
VIa Tampa Bay Times:
Barack Obama’s lackluster debate performance last week has dramatically altered the presidential race in Florida, with Mitt Romney opening up a decisive 7 percentage point lead, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald poll.
The survey conducted this week found 51 percent of likely Florida voters supporting Romney, 44 percent backing Obama and 4 percent undecided. That’s a major shift from a month ago when the same poll showed Obama leading 48 percent to 47 percent — and a direct result of what Obama himself called a “bad night” at the first debate. [...]
Likewise, Obama’s lead among likely women voters in Florida fell from 15 percentage points last month to just 2 points, 49 percent for Obama and 47 percent for Romney.
Obama’s once 11 point lead among likely independent voters had cascaded into a 13 point lead for Romney this week, 52 percent to 39 percent.
The poll found little change among Florida youngest voters, 18-34, or oldest voters, 65 and up. But those ages 35 to 64, who had been evenly divided a month ago, moved dramatically to the Republican nominee. Romney now has a nine point lead among voters age 35-49 and a 15 point lead among those between 50 and 64.
Especially ominous were the numbers for Hispanic voters, a demographic where the Obama campaign is banking on an advantage of at least 15 percentage points. The poll showed 44 percent of likely Hispanic voters favoring Obama and 46 for Romney, though the margin of error is higher with that smaller group of voters.
“We ran away from other countries in search of a more traditional United States,” said Coral Gables resident Mary Gonzalez, who immigrated from Venezuela. “I think with the current president, the United States moves to (the left). And with Romney, I believe he can return the United States to its traditional course.”