A new poll released Saturday shows the battleground state of Florida remains a dead heat for President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Obama's advantage is a single percentage point in the survey, though Romney could claim that small advantage for himself should he select Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida as his running mate, the poll indicated.
The Mason-Dixon Poll/News 13 poll of likely Florida voters put Obama at 46% and Romney at 45%. The poll also included Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, who scored 2% support and previously competed in the Republican primary.
Romney would have a slight one point advantage if he picked Rubio, a Hispanic senator who is popular among conservatives, to join his ticket. Should that happen, Obama's seven point edge over Romney among Latino voters could turn to a one-point advantage for Romney, 43%-44%, and the percentage of undecided Latino voters would increase from 9% to 13%, according to the poll.
Two other polls released last month showed Obama over Romney, but the results were within each poll's sampling error. In the separate Quinnipiac University polls, Obama had 45% and 46% to Romney's 41% and 42%.
Half of voters disapproved of the president's job performance, while only 46% approve. A larger number - 54% - told the pollsters the country was on the wrong track, and just shy of four in 10 said it was on the right track.
Forty-one percent said Obama's policies had worsened the country, 35% thought they had improved the country, and 22% thought his policies had no effect.
In the horserace, Obama led among likely voters who are black, female, and are younger than 50. Romney's advantage included voters who are white, male and older than 50, the poll showed.
The poll included 800 likely voters reached by telephone between July 9 and July 11. It had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, the pollsters said.