A new Quinnipiac University poll of Florida shows Barack Obama holding a 49%-46% lead over Mitt Romney.
As far as Q polls go, that's a tightening from the group's most recent survey, but it's a good poll for Obama compared to other surveys of the state.
Let's jump into key stats:
a. Both candidates galvanize their parties. Romney gets 91% of Republicans, Obama gets 90% of Dems.
b. Romney wins independents, 48%-44%.
c. The gender gap favors Obama. Men pick Romney by 6%, but women choose Obama by twice that margin, 12%.
d. Whites favor Romney, 57%-38%, while blacks pick Obama, 95%-2%, and Hispanics choose Obama, 61%-31%.
Note that Hispanic number. Thanks to the Cuban population which trends Republican, the race for the Florida Hispanic vote tends to be closer, but Obama ended up overperforming in 2008 and won 57% of the Hispanic vote.
In this poll, at least, he's doing slightly better than that; in fact, he's essentially where he is, nationally, with Hispanics. An NBC poll yesterday showed him scoring 63% of the vote.
e. Whites, across the board, back Romney. Those with college degrees (+14%), without them (+20%), Catholics (+25%), men (+26%), and women (+12%).
f. Now here's a fascinating number. When you include all ethnic groups, Obama wins those with college degrees and, most fascinatingly, those without them (+4%). Usually, he loses the latter group.
g. The income divide is big. The two groups making under $50K support Obama, while the two groups above $50K back Romney by double-digits.
h. Romney wins seniors big, 55%-42%. So apparently, there's no ill effect of the Ryan pick there.
i. Romney's favorable rating sits at 45%/42% and at +6% with independents. Notably, he's only at 35%/50% with Hispanics. Paging Marco Rubio.
Meanwhile, Obama's favorable rating sits at 50%/45% for +5%. Wanna hear a blow-you-away stat? Romney's fav with whites is +16%, while Obama's is -18%. That's a 34% difference. Predictably, the gap is even bigger with other ethnic groups.
j. Obama's approval rating is 47%/48%, but he's only at 39%/52% with independents.
Now remember... Romney is only leading by 4% with independents, so that's fertile territory for him, considering Obama's approval rating with the group.
k. Enthusiasm. Here's a good number for Republicans. Compared to past elections, Republicans are 53% more enthusiastic about voting; Democrats are at just 36%. In fact, even independents are at 39%.
That means that the two groups most excited about the election are the two groups where Obama's favorability is lowest.
l. Paul Ryan gets a solid 35%/29% favorable rating, and a strong 42%/30% rating with seniors. Again, the Romney ticket is doing fine where the convention wisdom suggested it would struggle.
OVERALL: Here are my three big take-aways.
1. Obama is in great shape with Hispanics.
Hispanics choose Obama, 61%-31%.
As I said, thanks to the Cuban population which trends Republican, the race for the Florida Hispanic vote tends to be closer, but Obama ended up overperforming in 2008 and won 57% of the Hispanic vote.
2. Enthusiasm favors Romney.
Obama's approval rating is lowest with the two groups that are most motivated to vote (Republicans and independents).
3. Romney has a higher ceiling.
He currently leads by 4% with independents, but Obama's approval rating with the group is -13%. That means about 9% more of indies are ripe for the picking.
Remember, both candidates are getting 90% of their own vote, so indies are where it's at.