Obama Regains Small Lead Over Romney In Florida | NBC 6 South Florida
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) says children without legal representation are five times more likely to be deported. 

    “There should be a public defender system for children,” said Kristie-Ann Padrón, an attorney with Catholic Charities, a nonprofit that took Arlin and her brother’s case for free. “They are not legally competent to sign a contract. How could they be expected to represent themselves in court?”

    Padrón says, if deported, some of the children have nothing to go back to.

    “Some were suffering from gang violence’” she said.

    With the help of Catholic Charities, Arlin and her brother won their asylum case.

    Three years have passed, he’s an honors student in high school. Arlin has learned English and works as a supervisor at a movie theatre while she gets her degree.

    “I’m doing mechanical engineering and I want to work with the NASA,” Arlin said.

    The NBC6 Investigators spent time in immigration court. We spoke with several kids who were facing a Miami judge alone without representation. They told us in Spanish that they fear being deported back.

    Most immigration judges we saw in Miami tried to get unaccompanied minors help with non-profit attorneys but those organizations say there just isn’t enough free legal aid to meet the demand.

    They say they are always looking for attorneys willing to donate their services.

    " name="&lpos=navigation hover&lid=thousands of immigrant children face a judge without an attorney">Thousands of Immigrant Children Face a Judge Without an Attorney
  • Miami Beach Menus Scrutinized in New Crackdown
  • NBC 6 Investigators
  • NBC 6 Responds
Email
Obama Regains Small Lead Over Romney In Florida
A Quinnipiac University poll shows Obama holds a small lead over Romney in Florida

Supported by the coalition of voters that catapulted him to the presidency four years ago, Barack Obama has regained a small lead over challenger Mitt Romney among Florida voters, a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows.

Obama was favored by 46 percent compared to 42 percent who preferred Romney in Quinnipiac's random telephone survey of 1,697 registered voters in the nation's largest swing state. The poll taken June 12-18 has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

Romney led in a similar Quinnipiac survey last month when he was preferred by 47 percent to Obama's 41 percent. The president benefited most from a big swing among independent voters who preferred Obama by a 46-37 margin. A month ago, independents chose Romney by a 44-36 margin.

"It's worth noting that the last Quinnipiac University Florida poll was on the heels of the president's backing of gay marriage, which might have hurt him," pollster Peter Brown said Thursday. "This movement reflects that uncertainty among voters who are up for grabs."

Complete Politics Coverage

Obama was backed by young voters, minorities and women while Romney was favored by white and older voters.

"Romney is not well-defined in the minds of many voters, especially those in the middle," Brown said.

The poll also shows U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV far ahead of the field with 698 GOP voters in his bid for the Republican nomination and a shot at unseating two-term U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. The Republican sampling had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Mack, the son of former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack and great-grandson of the legendary baseball owner and manager with the same name, received 41 percent while no other Republican candidate was in double figures.

George LeMieux, who was appointed by former Gov. Charlie Crist to serve the last 16 months of former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez's term in the nation's capital, hoped to win the seat on his own, but dropped out Wednesday after failing to gain traction with Republican voters.

The poll was taken before LeMieux's announcement that he was getting out of the race and showed the one-time adviser to Crist with the support of only 8 percent of Republicans, although nearly two of every five remained undecided. Former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon (3 percent) and Tea Party favorite Mike McCallister (5 percent) of Plant City remain challengers to Mack.

More Local News

"The Republican Senate nomination is Congressman Connie Mack's to lose," Brown said. "It would take a major change in public opinion for one of the other candidates to stop Connie Mack."

The poll showed Nelson with a 43-39 edge on Mack if the election were held now with 18 percent undecided.

Mack is trying to regain the seat won his father 24 years ago when the elder Mack defeated Democratic nominee Buddy MacKay in the closest U.S. Senate race in Florida history.

Nelson was elected in 2000 when he defeated Republican Bill McCollum. He was easily re-elected in 2006 when he faced former U.S. rep. and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.

2012 Election Coverage