FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Democrat Joe Biden has the support of 50% of likely Florida voters in a public opinion poll released Tuesday, 2 percentage points ahead of President Donald Trump, who has with 48%.
With percentages so close — the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points — the candidates effectively are tied.
Other results in the poll indicate that either man could win Florida’s 29 electoral votes. Even after the long campaign, FAU found 2.5% of respondents were undecided and 6% said they could still change their minds.
The bottom line is that the race is exceedingly tight in a state in which statewide elections are often close. In 2016, Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in Florida by 1.2 percentage points.
FAU’s findings are in line with other recent polling. The FiveThirtyEight average of public opinion polls in Florida showed Biden 2.4 points ahead of Trump, 49.1% to 46.7%
“With less than 3% undecided, the election in Florida is going to be less about persuasion and far more about turnout,” said Kevin Wagner, an FAU political scientist and research fellow at the university’s Business and Economics Polling Initiative. “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.”
Trump’s support among Republicans is somewhat weaker than Biden’s support among Democrats, the poll found.
Among those who report they always vote Democratic, 98% said they’d vote for Biden. Among those who say they always vote Republican, 93% said they’d vote for Trump.
The close race and the large number of electoral votes — more than one-tenth of the total needed to win the presidency — make Florida the nation’s largest battleground. And it explains why the candidates are paying so much attention to Florida.
Biden will campaign in Broward County and in Tampa on Thursday. Trump is also expected to campaign in the state on Thursday, though his campaign hasn’t released details.
“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 director of the polling initiative.
A Sept. 15 FAU poll reported 49% of likely voters for Biden and 46% for Trump.
An Oct 13 poll found 51% for Biden and 47% for Trump.
The latest results come from an FAU Business and Economics Polling Initiative survey of survey of 937 likely Florida voters conducted online and through automated calls to people with landline telephones on Oct. 24 and 25. It. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The sample size for subgroups, such as Republicans or Democrats, is smaller, so the margin of error is higher.
©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)