Obama’s support among Florida independents plummets after debt debate

Obama could have trouble in Florida, according to a new Quinnipiac poll that finds that the president’s approval rating among independents in the swing state dropped 9 percentage points to 33 percent following the announcement of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Quinnipiac looked at two sets of poll numbers: those from July 27 to July 31, before the agreement was announced, and those from Monday and Tuesday, after the agreement had been announced and was making its way through the House and Senate. During that time, Obama’s overall approval rating remained constant at 44 percent. But he saw a precipitous drop off in support among independents.

Last week, 42 percent of independents said they approved of the job Obama was doing as president, and 54 percent disapproved. But among those polled Monday and Tuesday, 61 percent said they disapproved of the job he was doing, and just 33 percent disapproved.

The last time Quinnipiac polled Florida voters, in May, the president was viewed much more favorably. He had a 51 percent approval rating, and Independents approved of his performance 47 percent to 45 percent. (RELATED: Republicans more upset with debt ceiling deal than Democrats)

The loss of approval was evident in Obama’s performance in head-to-head match ups against some of his possible Republican opponents. Obama had a lead over Mitt Romney last week, with 46 percent of Floridians saying they would vote to reelect the president and 41 percent saying they would vote for Mitt Romney. But polling done on Monday and Tuesday found Obama and Romney tied, with each getting 44 percent of the vote. Obama also saw a slide in his match up against Rick Perry. His 13-point lead last week over the possible Republican contender disappeared: polling on Monday and Tuesday found Obama leading by only 5 points.

Quinnipiac surveyed 674 registered Florida voters by telephone interview from July 27-July 31. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. 743 registered voters were interviewed by telephone from August 1-August 2. That sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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