After scoring two victories in yesterday's primaries, winning the majority of votes in both Kentucky and Arkansas, it looks as though former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will secure the Republican nomination with a likely victory in Texas. And while it took a while for the GOP to warm up to him, there are indications of growing momentum for the Romney campaign, solidified by his lead in recent polls.
In Florida, for instance, Romney holds a 6 points advantage to President Obama in a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Florida is a major battleground state, and looking back to the 2000 election, it was key to Bush's victory. Peter A. Brown, assistant vice president of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute explains:
"The overall picture in Florida is positive for Romney, who is ahead 50 - 37 percent among men, while women are divided 44 - 45 percent. And the president is getting just 33 percent of white votes, compared to 85 percent of black votes and 42 percent of Hispanic votes."
Could President Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex marriage have anything to do with his drop in support in Florida? Simply put, yes. The same Florida poll reveals that 25 percent of voters in Florida are less likely to vote for Obama after his open support for same-sex marriage. Among independents, that number drops slightly to 23 percent.
On a national scale, however, two new polls show Obama slightly ahead of Romney among likely registered voters. In a ABC News/Washington Post poll released today, Obama is ahead of Romney by 3 percentage points. On economic issues, however, Obama receives poor ratings. When asked if voters approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy, 44 percent of likely voters strongly disapproved. The economy was ranked as the most important issue in this election.
Furthermore, the minority turn-out could swing this election, an issue becoming all too clear to Romney. In a push for the Latino vote, he spoke today at the Latino Coalition, a pro-business group led by Hector V. Barreto:
Millions of our kids are getting third world education. And America's minority children suffer the most. this is the civil rights issue of our era.
Despite his efforts to woo the Latino base, however, Romney still trails to Obama by 34 points. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll notes, however, that while a large majority favor Obama, his challenge will be in mobilizing these supporters to the polls come November.