FAU’s poll finds Joe Biden with 36-point lead over Bernie Sanders in Florida

Joe Biden accuses Bernie
But both candidates trail President Donald Trump in a head-to-head match up.

Another poll shows that Florida’s Democratic primary is former Vice President Joe Biden‘s to lose.

A week out from Floria’s March 17 primary, Biden has opened up a 36-point lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders among Florida’s Democratic voters, according to a new statewide survey by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative.

The poll, the first to survey with just the remaining three Democrats, finds Biden has increased his support to 61%, up from 42% in FAU’s January poll.

Sanders is at 25%, up from 14% support in January. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard had 3% support, while 10% of voters said they’re still undecided. The margin of error in the Democratic primary polling was 4.9%.

Biden’s 61% matches the level he received in the latest St. Pete Polls survey released last week. That poll was released the same day billionaire Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the race and a day before Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren suspended her campaign.

In the FAU poll, both Biden and Sanders trail in head-to-head matchups against U.S. President Donald Trump. Biden fared slightly better, losing 51% to 49%, while Sanders came up six points short, 53% to 47 %. Both results represent a reversal of January’s poll, which showed both Sanders and Biden leading Trump in head-to-head matchups.

The FAU survey was conducted March 5-7 and polled 1,216 Florida registered voters. The survey has a margin of error of  2.7% for the broader question.

Nearly four out of five voters in the Democratic primary (79%) said they will definitely vote for their top choice, up from 54% in January.

As had been seen nationally, there is a generational divide among the Democratic candidates’ supporters, with Sanders leading 35%-15% among voters 18-29 years old, but trailing with older voters. Biden leads 58% to 34% among voters 30-49 years old, 71% 19% among those 50-64 years old, and 82% to 13% among voters over 65.

“Florida has been a strong Biden firewall state since we started polling a year ago,” Monica Escaleras, director of the FAU BEPI, stated in a news release. “With voters’ attitudes becoming more fixed on their choices, there is nothing in this data that suggests a change in the direction of this race at this time.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


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