Published On: Tue, Oct 27th, 2020

Biden Maintains Slim Advantage on Trump Across Florida

Democratic nominee Joe Biden holds a slight edge over U.S. President Donald Trump among likely Florida voters, according to the final presidential survey before Election Day by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative  (FAU BEPI).

Biden leads Trump 50 percent to 48 percent, with 2.5 percent of respondents undecided and 6 percent saying they could change their minds. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points.

The former U.S. vice president led Trump 51 percent to 47 percent in FAU’s most recent poll, released on Oct. 13, after Trump pulled even with Biden in September.

In this latest poll, respondents were split on the winner of the second and last presidential debate, with each candidate earning 44 percent of the responses.    

Biden enjoys an edge among his base, with 98 percent of respondents who always vote Democrat saying they will vote for him, compared to 93 percent who always vote Republican preferring Trump.

As it was in previous polls, the economy was the most important issue among respondents (37 percent), followed by the coronavirus (23 percent) and then healthcare (19 percent).

Those who said the economy is most important are siding with Trump, 80 percent to 16 percent, while those who cited the coronavirus are breaking for Biden, 82 percent to 14 percent.  

“It is a very close race, and any movement in the upcoming week can swing the results in either candidate’s favor,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of FAU BEPI in the College of Business.

Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., a professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative, noted that the winner of Florida has won every presidential race since 1996, and the Sunshine State may again be the key.

“With less than 3 percent undecided, the election in Florida is going to be less about persuasion and far more about turnout,” he said. “With Joe Biden holding a 12-point lead among Floridians who have already voted, Donald Trump will need a strong turnout this week and on Election Day to carry Florida.”

As for constitutional amendments on the Florida ballot, respondents in the latest poll favor Amendment 2, with 62 percent saying they support raising the minimum wage gradually from $10 an hour to $15 an hour in the next six years. Thirty percent were opposed and 8 percent undecided.

On Amendment 3, which would allow all registered voters to vote in all primaries, 58 percent are in support, while 29 percent oppose and 13 percent undecided.

Meanwhile, Trump’s approval rating was 45 percent, compared with 44 percent in the Oct. 13 poll, while his disapproval rating dropped to 50 percent from 51 percent.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approval rating fell to 42 percent from 43 percent in the earlier October poll, while his disapproval rating dropped to 46 percent from 48 percent.

The survey of 937 likely Florida voters was conducted Oct. 24-25. It is important to remember that subsets carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. The data was weighted by ethnicity, age, education, party affiliation, region and gender, based on 2016 Census Voting and Registration modeling. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines and cell phones provided by Aristotle Inc. and an online panel provided by Dynata. The polling results and full cross-tabulations can be viewed here.

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