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St. Pete Polls survey: Joe Biden up by 2 in Florida

Demographic results may counter some trends, expectations.

The latest poll from St. Pete Polls shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holding a 2-point lead over President Donald Trump in Florida.

The spread, Biden with 49% and Trump with 47%, is within the poll’s margin of error. Yet it continues the strong consensus of polls over recent weeks that have mostly shown Biden leading in the Sunshine State by narrow margins. The previous St. Pete Polls survey, taken in September, had Biden up 50%-47%

This poll, commissioned by and paid for AARP Florida, was conducted through automated phone calls to 2,215 likely Florida voters Sunday and Monday, with a margin of error of just over 2 points.

While the overall result supports the continued observation that Biden is winning in Florida, the demographic breakdowns reveal some trends that may run counter to assumptions made and data cited by both campaigns.

Trump is soundly winning the over-70 age bracket, despite recent assertions by the Biden campaign that he has made dramatic advances appealing to older voters. Trump’s lead in the St. Pete Polls survey was 59% to 38% among voters 70 or older. Biden, on the other hand, is dominating the next-oldest age bracket broken out in the survey, with a 54%-43% advantage among voters ages 50-69.

Biden also holds leads among young and middle-age voters.

Biden may not be achieving his campaign’s goal of drawing more than 40% of the white vote in Florida. The St. Pete Polls survey has Trump commanding the preference of white voters by a 57%-40% spread, a slight decline for Biden since the previous survey. Nor is Biden dominating Hispanic voters as his campaign had hoped. They’re breaking for Biden, but by a 54%-43% margin, providing much less than the 58%-60% that some have suggested he needs.

As expected, Biden’s strength may come from the African American vote, provided Black voters turn out in significant numbers. Biden is preferred by 86% of Black voters, compared with just 8% for Trump. Asian or Pacific islander voters prefer Biden 50% to 42%.

One finding to watch as either a possible new trend or an anomaly: the St. Pete Polls survey has Biden more favored among men, by a 50%-45% spread, than among women, a 49%-48% advantage. Past polls almost all have shown men favoring Trump and women, Biden, sometimes by significant margins. The previous St. Pete Polls survey had both margins close.

Biden continues to show stronger loyalty among party voters than Trump is enjoying in Florida: 85% of Democrats say they’re voting for their party’s nominee, but just 82% of Republicans say they are doing so. Biden holds the advantage among independent voters, leading 50% to 45%.

Written By

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 scott@floridapolitics.com.

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