Mason-Dixon Polling and Research recently conducted a joint poll for the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9, but Monday the firm announced it will no longer poll the presidential race in the Sunshine state; it is the second major pollster to pull out of Florida.
The group will no longer poll the presidential election in the state after finding Romney up by 6 points in the I-4 corridor.
“Romney has pretty much nailed down Florida,” said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, which conducted the poll for the media partners. “Unless something dramatically changes — an October surprise, a major gaffe — Romney’s going to win Florida.”
Elections are historically won or lost depending on a candidate’s performance in the I-4 corridor that stretches from Tampa Bay area to Daytona Beach on the east coast. Obama trailed Romney 51% to 45% with 4% undecided in the last poll.
The Oct. 22-24 survey focused only on voters in the I-4 corridor, however Obama is in trouble in the Tampa Bay area as well. The west side of Tampa Bay usually mirrors Florida’s statewide results.
Obama beat John McCain in Florida and Tampa Bay — defined as Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Polk and Citrus counties by 51% to 48% in 2008.
This month, the poll shows Romney leading Obama in Tampa Bay 50% to 46%, a sign of deep trouble for Obama’s campaign.
“I truly was looking for Obama to go in and bring in some Republicans and say we are going to do things together. The very idea that this country is run without a budget is a shame. How many households can run without a budget?” said Republican David Stratton, 67, a retired home builder in Valrico, one of the voters surveyed. “I blame Obama for that. I’m sorry … he’s supposed to lead the country. He’s the one who promised hope and change. Not only didn’t it happen, he’s proven it’s nothing more than rhetoric,” he said, as quoted in the Times.
The last Mason-Dixon poll highlighted widespread disappointment in Mr. Obama within the electoral heart of America’s largest battleground state. Voters in the I-4 corridor disapprove of the president’s job performance by 51% while 54% see the country on the wrong track, and 55% say they are not better off today than four years ago.
Mason-Dixon is not the first major polling group to pull out of Florida. Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos, whose polls are aggregated into mainstream averages to show where the presidential race stands in the swing states, said he’s finished polling in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia because President Obama has no shot at winning those states.
“I think in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, we’ve already painted those red, we’re not polling any of those states again,” Paleologos said Tuesday night on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor.” “We’re focusing on the remaining states.”