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Perry present favorite among Florida Republicans

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 4:34 a.m. HST, Sep 22, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. » A new poll shows Florida Republicans slightly prefer Texas Gov. Rick Perry over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in their party's battle to find a nominee to face President Barack Obama next year.

Perry was favored by 28 percent of the 374 registered Republican voters compared to 22 percent who want Romney as their nominee. The random telephone survey, conducted Sept. 14-19 by Quinnipiac University, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.

However, Quinnipiac's poll showed Obama would be more difficult to defeat if Perry becomes the Republican nominee.

Romney, in a broader survey of 1,007 voters, was favored by 47 percent to Obama's 40 percent. Obama had a statistically insignificant 44-42 edge in a matchup with Perry.

The poll comes ahead of Thursday's candidate debate in Florida.

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