Campaign

Florida poll: Trump, Biden in dead heat in head-to-head matchup

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are in a dead heat in the crucial swing state of Florida, according to a new poll released Wednesday by Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

Trump and Biden each got 50 percent support among registered voters surveyed in the Sunshine State, possibly previewing a contentious showdown in a state that is a key battleground in the 2020 election.

Trump is buoyed by a net-positive approval rating in Florida, with 47 percent of registered voters saying they approve of the job he's doing while 44 percent disapprove. The result is a three-point uptick from FAU's March poll.

The poll shows Biden putting up the best fight among Democrats against Trump, as registered voters favor the president over any other contender by narrow margins. Trump has a two-point edge on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a four-point advantage over Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and a six-point lead over Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

Biden has substantial leads over his Democratic rivals, beating Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), his closest primary opponent, by 27 points.

"President Trump's approval ratings in Florida have remained fairly steady across our polling, and he continues to have a strong base of support in this state," said Kevin Wagner, professor of political science at FAU. "Former Vice President Joe Biden does well across the board in Florida, and his strength among moderate Democrats appears largely unchallenged so far." 

Indicating he has his eye on the general election, Biden has refrained from hammering his Democratic opponents and has instead focused his ire on Trump, repeatedly criticizing his conduct in office. Trump has responded in kind, labeling the former vice president "SleepyCreepy Joe."

Florida, a perennial swing state notorious for its narrow margins in statewide and national races, will likely play a crucial role to any candidate's path to victory next year. Trump won the state by just over 1 percent in 2016.

The FAU poll surveyed 1,007 registered voters from May 16-19 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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