Obama turns around his popularity in Florida

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Floridians approval of President Obama has greatly improved in the past five months since the midterm election, according to a Public Policy Polling poll released Thursday. PPP found 48 percent of Florida voters approve of Obama’s performance as president, and 47 disapprove.

This is a marked improvement. The week before the midterms, a St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll found Obama upside down, with a 43 percent approval rating among Florida voters and 51 percent disapproving. The results break down as expected along ideological lines in each of the polls, with a large majority of liberals and Democrats approving of the President’s job and conservatives and Republicans disapproving.

Obama’s numbers among independents have gone up since the midterms. 49 percent of independents approved in the PPP poll, and 44 percent disapproved. In late October 2010, independents were split equally, with 47 percent each approving and disapproving.

The President’s improved popularity could shift the landscape in the 2012 campaign. Republicans all but swept Florida elections in November. The Florida Democratic Party, chaired by Rod Smith, created a ‘turnaround committee’ to examine the Democratic Party’s weaknesses in Florida.

“I find it amazing how much they keep us on the defense right now,” he told the Herald-Tribune.

Most of the attacks were tying Florida Democrats to the then unpopular policies of President Obama. His increased popularity could help Democrats in 2012 by allowing them to focus on their message, rather than having to spend time distancing themselves from the President.