A new poll shows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden earning 51% of the vote in Florida as he competes for the state against President Donald Trump.
The survey comes from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI). Biden’s 4-point lead over Trump is similar to the September version of the poll, which showed Biden up by 3. But the former Vice President has now increased his vote share to cross the 50% mark, according to the university’s pollsters.
That projection is within the survey’s margin of error of 3.8 percentage points. That margin applies to both candidates’ vote share, which means Florida isn’t lost for Trump yet.
It is, however, another sign Trump has work to do between now and Nov. 3 to ensure himself another term. Florida’s elderly population could be key to deciding who wins the state and perhaps, ultimately, the White House.
“Joe Biden continues to be competing better for senior voters than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, and that could be the difference in Florida,” said Kevin Wagner, a professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative.
The FAU BEPI survey ran Oct. 9-10 and sampled 644 likely Florida voters.
The survey was in the field late enough to capture voter sentiment following the first presidential debate as well as President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. But the poll did run prior to Monday’s visit by Trump to Sanford. Trump is shirking public health guidelines with his plans to hold several large rallies in the campaign’s final weeks. He’s set to return to Florida with an Ocala rally Friday.
The COVID-19 outbreak and its economic fallout are set to be major issues in the upcoming contest, according to the new survey. For the 38% of voters stating the economy is the most important issue, Trump leads 80%-16%. Another 18% of voters say COVID-19 is their top issue. Biden leads among that group 92%-8%.
“The economy and the coronavirus are key issues for voters and if perception of either issue changes so could people’s votes,” said Monica Escaleras, director of FAU BEPI in the College of Business.
Another 17% of voters cited health care as their top issue, while 11% are prioritizing racism and equality.