Donald Trump is winning Pasco County, but not by the margin he should

Donald Trump and Joe Biden
The race looks four points closer than 2016's final tally.

It’s likely little surprise Donald Trump is more popular than Joe Biden in right-leaning Pasco County. But a newly released St. Pete Polls survey shows things look tighter there than the Presidential race finished in 2016.

If the election were held today, about 57% of Pasco County voters would vote to reelect Trump and just over 39% would pick Biden. Some 1% go third party and fewer than 3% remain undecided.

So how’s that compare to the 2016 results? That year, Trump won almost 59% of the Pasco vote while Democrat Hillary Clinton won just over 37%. Nearly 4% of voters picked a third party option such as Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

The bottom line, Trump won the conservative county by 22% in 2016 but leads by just 18% now. That 4-percentage-point difference could mean dividends in Florida, a state Trump won by just 1.2% in his last election and one whose electoral votes he likely needs in order to secure a second term.

With an incumbent on the ballot, there seems to be less draw to those minor party options this year, and the race between the Democrat and Republican nominee is closer than an Olympiad ago.

Of course, the poll has a 3% margin of error, and any difference could be statistical noise. The poll includes responses from 1,040 likely Pasco County voters, all of whom responded on Aug. 27, the day Trump formally accepted the nomination from the White House lawn.

As for party breakdown, Trump notably holds a greater edge with Republicans than Biden enjoys with Democrats. About 84% of GOP voters support the President’s reelection and 14% are ready to vote Biden, whereas fewer than 74% of Democrats will stick with their nominee while more than 21% will cross the aisle and vote for Trump.

And Trump wins a solid chunk of Pasco independents as well. There, almost 58% of voters plan to go for Trump and just over 38% will vote Biden, results that largely mirror the overall numbers in the county.

Of note, nearly 3% of Democrats plan to vote third party, but less than 1% of independents will do so and almost no GOP voters plan to go that route.

Biden wins more than 92% of Pasco Black voters, not one of whom said they would back Trump in the poll. He also leads Trump among Asian and Pacific Islander voters 46% to 39%. But Trump wins the Hispanic vote 55% to 36%.

Trump wins White voters 59% to 38%, as well as those who do not identify a race or list other by a margin of 58% to 40%.

There’s a slight gender gap, with more than 41% of Pasco women ready to vote Biden, but less than 38% of men ready to do so. Trump wins among men with more than 58% and among women with nearly 57%.

Trump also wins in every age demographic pollsters broke down. If anything, he performs better among younger voters than older ones. While Biden wins 41% of the age 50 to 69 vote and 40% of the 70 and older vote, he takes just 36% on 30- to 49-year olds and just 34% among voters age 18 to 29.

That’s unusual as older voters in Florida tend to skew further to the right. But it also may be important information as the older demographic of voters are far more likely to vote on Election Day.

St. Pete Polls also checked to see how voters plan to cast a ballot in Pasco.  There, 53% plan to vote by mail and 47% will vote in person. But looking just at Republican voters 60% plan to vote in person and 40% will use the mail. That’s consistent with voter behavior around the state as more GOP voters swear off mail ballots as the President criticizes the method (though notably calling Florida an exception.)

By contrast, 69% of Democrats and 57% of independents will vote by mail.

Jacob Ogles

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 [email protected].


  • Sonja Fitch

    August 29, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Pasco residents living on social security and Medicare ! Trump proudly proclaims if re-elected there shall be no social security and Medicare! Trump has already
    Placed a hold on payroll taxes(social security).

  • Joe

    August 30, 2020 at 9:50 am

    I’m really surprised that younger people in Pasco are more supportive than the older generations. Statistically in the U.S. as a whole, younger generations are less likely to back Trump than older age groups.

    • Jim

      August 30, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      I’m not surprised at all. Senior citizens have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump has done nothing to protect this vulnerable demographic. On the contrary, his failures are dealing with the pandemic has condemned hundreds of thousands of seniors to death. When all is said and done, history can honestly credit Trump as being America’s greatest mass murderer.

      • Bill

        September 7, 2020 at 11:27 pm

        Where are all these hundreds of thousands of dead seniors? As far as the title of America’s greatest mass murderer, that title belongs to the Governor of New York.
        I understand the hatred for Trump but distorting the facts is a diss-service to everyone.

Comments are closed.


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