MIAMI, June 24 (UPI) -- A voter preference poll indicates U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is far ahead of likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain in the key swing state of Florida.
Obama, D-Ill., was ahead of McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, 46 percent to 30 percent in three of Florida's biggest southern counties, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday. In the Zogby International poll, Obama was found to have sprinted 16 points ahead of McCain in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and also had a slight lead among Hispanic voters.
"Obama's 16-point lead in South Florida could springboard him to make it a competitive race statewide," pollster John Zogby told the Herald. "I really think Florida is in play."
Most political observers were expecting Obama to have a tougher time in the state because he didn't campaign there during the primary elections due to Democratic Party disputes over the election date. But the results seemed to show Obama quickly making up for lost time, the newspaper said.
The poll was conducted June 18-20, just as Obama was unveiling his first Florida television ads and had an error margin of 3.5 percentage points. The Herald didn't report how many respondents participated.