Exclusive poll: Trump and Biden deadlocked in Florida
President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are tied in Florida with just 18 days to go before Election Day, according to a new Hill/Harris poll released Friday.
The poll shows both Biden and Trump garnering 48 percent of support among likely voters in the Sunshine State, while another 4 percent are unsure of how they will vote.
Trump wins his strongest support from white voters, 59 percent of whom say they plan to cast their ballot for the president. But Biden has strong support among Black voters and Hispanics, who together accounted for about a third of Florida’s electorate in 2016.
Eighty-two percent of Black voters say they support Biden, while 13 percent are backing Trump, according to the poll. Among Hispanic voters in the state, 57 percent say they will vote for Biden compared with 39 percent who plan to support Trump.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton carried 62 percent of the Hispanic vote in Florida four years ago to Trump’s 35 percent. The Hill/Harris poll, however, suggests that Trump has marginally improved his standing among those voters.
But Biden also appears to be outperforming Clinton’s support among voters 65 and older, a key voting bloc in Florida that has long tilted toward Republicans and that Trump sees as critical to his success in the Sunshine State. Among those voters, 51 percent say they are backing Trump for reelection, while 46 percent are supporting Biden.
The poll also shows that few voters are still willing to change their mind about which candidate they plan to support. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they are committed to their choice compared to 12 percent who indicated that their preference could still change.
Trump’s approval rating is slightly underwater in Florida, however, at 49 to 51 percent. Approval of his response to the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps the most pivotal issue in the 2020 election, is notably lower at 43 percent. Another 57 percent say they disapprove of how he’s handled the outbreak.
A plurality of Florida voters — 29 percent — said that the coronavirus is the top issue facing the country today, according to The Hill/Harris poll. Only one other issue, the economy and jobs, cracked double digits at 17 percent.
With 29 electoral votes up for grabs and a history of unpredictable election results, Florida is among the most coveted states for any presidential candidate. But for Trump, in particular, it’s a must-win, especially given his narrow 1-point victory there in 2016 and mounting signs of trouble in other states that he carried four years ago.
The Hill/Harris battleground polling released Friday showed Biden leading Trump in Pennsylvania 51 to 46 percent and in Michigan 54 to 43 percent. Trump carried both of those states narrowly in 2016.
“Trump has pulled even in Florida and that indicates some momentum and the capability to win against long odds here,” Mark Penn, pollster for The Hill/Harris survey. “But his prior stronghold in the Midwest is where he is in trouble.”
Recent surveys out of Florida show a tight race between Trump and Biden, though the Democratic nominee currently carries a slim 4-point edge in FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.
The Hill/Harris poll of Florida is based on responses from 965 likely voters gathered online from Oct. 12-15.
Results were weighted among registered voters for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, income, education, political party, and political ideology where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population and then filtered by likely voters.