The 2016 presidential election was a nailbiter in Florida, with roughly 100,000 votes putting Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
2020 appears to be similarly close, mirroring a trend of elections that confound pollsters and pundits until the final vote is counted.
However, according to one prominent forecaster, Florida may be a “toss up,” but Democratic nominee Joe Biden is “slightly favored” to take the state in November, according to the Cook Political Report‘s Amy Walter.
Walter’s Florida stance is of a piece with her larger read on the race.
“This election is looking more like a Democratic tsunami than simply a Blue wave,” Walter notes.
“President Trump, mired in some of the lowest job approval ratings of his presidency, is … even running behind Biden in his firewall states of Florida and North Carolina,” Walter adds.
Florida and North Carolina, ironically, are now yoked in the ongoing narrative of the Trump Administration seeking the optics of a 2016 base-rallying event in the pandemic atmosphere of 2020. Whether the convention drama has anything to do with polling is an open question, but surveys show Biden with a consistent edge.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows a Joe Biden lead that, while outside the margin of error of most polls, is likely too close for comfort, with Biden up in the aggregate, 48% to 43%.
That number is skewed by the most recent survey added to the average, via GOP-leaning Trafalgar, a poll which shows an even race, with Biden and Trump each the choice of 46% of those surveyed.
Most polls show swing voters breaking to Biden, at least at this early point in the running.
In 2016, polling in Florida showed generally a race that was too close to call, but with a Clinton edge, and Republicans with experience in this state note a bias in the public polling toward Democratic candidates.
However, it’s worth watching to see if between now and November, pollsters, prognosticators, and pundits become more confident in saying that Florida, at long last, will go Blue.