Florida Independent Voters Could Make All the Difference in 2012

In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama won Florida's presidential election by winning over the state's independent voters. Exit polls show 52 percent of them voted for Obama. That was then, this is now - and recent polls show that important voting bloc is cooling to the president.

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, just 33 percent of Florida's independent voters approve of the job the president is doing. A whopping 61 percent disapprove of his performance.

Justin Sayfie, political consultant and author of the Sayfie Review says the Sunshine State's independent voters are worried not only about the economy, but also the president's leadership.

Republican candidates will have a chance to woo Florida voters in Thursday's GOP presidential debate in Orlando. Florida's Republican Party Communications Director Brian Hughes even speculated that the winner of the 'Presidency 5' Florida straw poll will be the 2012 GOP nominee.

Given the make up of Florida's electorate, independent voters will make all the difference. Democrats make up 41 percent of the state's registered voters, Republicans account for 36 percent. Nearly a quarter of Florida's voters have elected not to register with either party.

More On This...

Regardless of party, Sayfie says Floridians who voted for Obama in 2008 are re-evaluating their choice. According to Sayfie, both Democrats and independents who voted for the president in the last election "aren't feeling as excited about his campaign and his candidacy as they did a few years ago."

Count songwriter Bobby Marin among them. Marin says he's disappointed in Obama and would consider voting for someone like Mitt Romney.

"I'm trying to hold on as much as I can because I like the guy," Marin says, adding, "but so far he hasn't shown us anything."

However, other Floridians who supported Obama in 2008 blame his inability to get more accomplished on "the mess" President Bush left behind and a GOP-controlled House they say is blocking his ideas.

Tinashei Phillips says that's why Obama deserves a second chance. She cast her vote for him in 2008 and will do so again in 2012.

"I do think that with this term coming up that he will be able to make everything better."