8:48 am Oct. 3, 20121
There's no battleground state that views Mitt Romney as favorably as Florida does, according to a new NBC News-Wall Street Journal-Marist poll out this morning.
Not surprisingly, those results roughly reflect the candidates' favorability in each state.
In Ohio, where the Obama campaign has pummeled Romney for, among other things, his opposition to the auto bailout, 51 percent of voters view Romney negatively, with 42 percent saying they view him positively. Obama's numbers were the opposite: 52 percent favorable to 44 percent unfavorable.
In Florida, which Obama leads by just one point in this morning's poll, Romney is seen favorably by 46 percent of voters, compared to just 43 percent who view him unfavorably.
That three-point net-positive result is the best Romney's done in any of the nine battleground states that Marist polled after the conventions. His only other positive scores were a plus-one in Virginia last month and a plus-one in North Carolina last week.
It's not entirely clear what accounts for the relatively high number in Florida, but Romney has hammered Obama on his relationship with Israel, which might have swayed some of the state's Jewish voters; he's received enthusiastic support from the state's up-and-coming senator, Marco Rubio; and the state was home to the Republican convention last month.
Still, Obama maintains a slightly higher net-positive score in Florida, with a 50-45 split between favorable-unfavorable perceptions.
While Romney's performance in Florida and Virginia should offer some hope to the teetering campaign, Obama's consistent lead in Ohio—it was seven points in the last Marist survery—could re-make the electoral map for the closing weeks of the campaign. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning the state, and the path to an Ohio-less victory for Romney would require cobbling together several states that have tilted Democratic in recent years.
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