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Expect to see Joe Biden and Donald Trump debate in early September.

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Joe Biden 50%, Donald Trump 46% in latest Mason-Dixon poll of Florida

Survey finds little benefit to Val Demings as far as name ID.

A Mason-Dixon poll released Thursday morning shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in Florida 50% to 46%.

It’s the latest in a string of recent polls showing the Democrat with a majority of the vote in the largest battleground state.

But the same poll shows Rep. Val Demings with worse name recognition in Florida than other women on Biden’s short list of potential running mates.

The poll still shows the presidential race close, the difference between candidates right at the margin of error of 4%. It shows just 4% of voters undecided in the race. The poll of registered voters was conducted between July 20 and 23.

The survey find Biden leading among independent voters with 52% to Trump’s 43%. Both candidates hold onto solid support among their partisan bases, with 87% of Democrats backing Biden and 87% of Republicans supporting Trump.

And Trump still holds the edge with white voters (57% to Biden’s 40%) and male voters (49% to 47%). But all other race and gender demographics favor Biden, including blacks (88% to Trump’s 6%), Hispanics (56% to 39%) and women (53% to 43%).

There’s definitely a generational divide in the Florida electorate, with those younger than 50 favoring a change in White House occupant but those older than 50 ready to give Trump another term. Among voters ages 18 to 34, Biden holds a massive 66% to 29% lead. But among voters age 65 and up, Trump leads 52% to 43%.

Regionally, Biden wins in Tampa Bay with 52% support but Trump holds the edge in Central Florida with 54%, splitting the critical I-4 Corridor. Other regions of the state break down as expected, with Republicans leading in North Florida and Southwest Florida but Democrats holding the lead in Southeast Florida.

The poll also found Biden more admired than Trump. About 45% of Florida voters rate Biden favorably, while 37% feel the opposite. By comparison, 41% feel good about Trump and 51% view him unfavorably.

Vice President Mike Pence nets a positive approval rating, though, with 39% saying they view him favorably and 37% saying the opposite.

As the political class ponders the quadrennial veepstakes, it always seems an open question whether candidates will go with political consideration or personal comfort. To the degree Biden considers the former, the Mason-Dixon poll undercuts the Floridian most likely to be tapped as a running mate.

Demings, an Orlando Democratic Representative, remains largely an unknown to most Floridians, 61% of whom do not recognize the former Orlando police chief. Another 19% of voters known of Demings but feel neutral about her as a choice. About 11% have a favorable opinion of her and 9% feel unfavorable.

By comparison, only 4% don’t recognize Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and just 11% don’t know California Sen. Kamala Harris, though both of that candidates have higher unfavorable than favorable ratings. Former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice also has more name recognition, unknown to 29%, but is also disliked by 26% of voters.

Illinois Sen.  Tammy Duckworth remains an unknown to 57% of Florida voters, but has higher favorable than unfavorable ratings.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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