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Florida Influencer Poll: 2020 watch

“Exoneration Day” vs. “Touch-gate”

Come 2020, all eyes will be on Florida. Will the Sunshine State go for President Donald Trump a second time, or will his Democratic challenger pick up a big stack of electoral votes?

It’s too soon to know for sure, but Florida Politics asked more than 100 plugged in politicos whether they thought the headlines of April 2019 are helping or hindering Trump and one of his most visible rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden.

A few weeks ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation and Trump got the exoneration he was looking for. Or maybe he didn’t. It’s kind of hard to know without seeing the full report.

Whether it does or not, three in five Florida Influencers think Trump’s poll numbers will be baked for the foreseeable future. That camp includes 58 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independents.

The balance say “Exoneration Day” could be the turning point for POTUS’ poll position. On that side are 42 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independents.

The other 2020 narrative du jour we asked Influencers about: “Touch-gate.”

Though he isn’t officially a 2020 candidate, Biden’s penchant to give shoulder rubs and back-of-head kisses has kept him front and center for a few news cycles. Depending on who you ask, he’s either a grandfatherly elder statesman or a creepy uncle.

According to Florida Influencers, the scandal won’t break Biden’s stride.

More than half of those polled — including 57 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of NPAs — said if Biden plays his cards right, Touch-gate will in the rearview mirror next year. Another 15 percent say he’s got enough Teflon in his skin, he probably could have skipped out on that non-apology video.

The remaining 27 percent say this should be Joe’s calling to quit while he’s behind.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz isn’t running for prez, but he’s taken some positions that aren’t traditionally Republican — namely, climate change is man-made, medical marijuana works and that people do not choose to be gay.

Some say those kinds of positions could draw NPAs over to the GOP column on the 2020 congressional ballot and Florida Influencers agree.

About half of those polled said those positions will “probably” work in luring independent voters, while an additional three-tenths said it was a sure thing. The remaining 21 percent said “not a chance.”

The Florida Influencer Poll is conducted monthly and solicits opinions on current events from the state’s the top consultants, fundraisers, PR mavens, lobbyists and staffers.

Those who fancy themselves as “Influencers” and want to take part in future polls can send an email to


The Influencers who took part in this survey are: Tom Alte, Jason Altmire, Phil Ammann, Allison Aubuchon, Jon Ausman, Roger Austin, Mario Bailey, Albert Balido, Katie Ballard, Geoffrey Becker, Amanda Bevis, David Biddle, Ron Bilbao, Barney Bishop, Katie Bohnett, Lydia Claire Brooks, Brad Coker, Jordan Connors, Gus Corbella, Javi Correoso, Jon Costello, Husein Cumber, Jim Daughton, Claudia Davant, Hayden Dempsey, Richard DeNapoli, Pablo Diaz, Víctor DiMaio, John Dowless, Ryan Duffy, Barry Edwards, Alia Faraj-Johnson, Trip Farmer, Mike Fasano, Peter Feaman, Mark Ferrulo, Matt Florell, Shawn Foster, Towson Fraser, Josh Geise, Steve Geller, Adam Giery, Larry Gillis, Julia Gill-Woodward, Pamela Goodman, Joel Greenberg, Marion Hammer, Abel Harding, Jeff Hartley, Rich Heffley, Max Herrle, Nick Janovsky, Aubrey Jewett, Rob Johnson, Jeff Johnson, Christina JohnsonEric johnson, Fred,  Karlinsky, Joshua Karp, Natalie Kato, Micah Ketchel, Lori Killinger, John Konkus, Jeff Kottkamp, Jackie Lee, Beth Lerner, Alli Liby, John Lux, Roly Marante, Beth Matuga, Frank Mayernick, Tracy Mayernick, Kristen McDonald, Darrick McGhee, Kathy Mears, James Miller, Joe Mobley, Ed Moore, John Morgan, Tim Nungesser, Meredith O’Rourke, Alex Patton, Juan Penalosa, Kirk Pepper, Mary Pezzi, Fred Piccolo, Gretchen Picotte, Ron Pierce, Ben Pollara, Samantha Pollara, Evan Power, Noah Pransky, Cissy Proctor, Bert Ralston, Foyt Ralston, David Ramba, Marc Reichelderfer, O’Doski Rhett, Jim Rimes, Franco Ripple, Evan Ross, Scott Ross, Ashley Ross, Jason Roth, Preston Rudie, Elnatan Rudolph, Ron Sachs, Meagan Salisbury, April Schiff, Pierce Schuessler, Stephen Shiver, Patrick Slevin, Adam Smith, Eileen Stuart, Alan Suskey, Nancy Texeira, Herbie Thiele, Cory Tilley, Heather Turnbull, Kyle Ulrich, Christian Ulvert, Jenn Ungru, Greg Ungru, Steven Vancore, Erin VanSickle, Nancy Watkins, Screven Watson, Christian Weiss, Doug Wheeler, Susie Wiles, Alan Williams, Rick Wilson, Gregory Wilson, Michael Worley, Joe York, Skylar Zander.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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