The Washington Times - May 23, 2012, 08:18AM

A new poll shows Republican Mitt Romney opening up a 6-point lead over President Obama in Florida, where Mr. Obama’s support of same-sex marriage is hurting him.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found Mr. Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, leading the president 47 percent to 41 percent, up from a 1-point lead in the same survey on May 3. The president announced on May 9 that he is now in favor of gay marriage.

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In the survey, 25 percent of voters said Mr. Obama’s support of same-sex marriage would make them less likely to support him. Only 11 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for the president. Among independents, the breakdown was 23 percent less likely to vote for him and 9 percent more likely.

Overall, 63 percent of those polled said the president’s support of same-sex marriage would not affect their vote. Some national surveys have found that Mr. Obama’s announcement had little or no impact on the race.

“While the issue of same-sex marriage looks like it affects only one-third of Florida voters, we know from experience what a few votes can mean in the Sunshine State,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant vice president of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Mr. Romney is viewed as better able to handle the economy, 50 percent to 40 percent.

Adding Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to the GOP ticket would give the Republicans a 49-41 lead over Mr. Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.