Poll: Floridians stressed over presidential election, point to jobs and pandemic

Orlando voting
Respondents believe this election will have a significant impact.

A new University of South Florida survey shows the 2020 presidential election is a significant source of stress for Floridians — a majority of which believe 2020 is a very important election.

Researchers with USF completed the statewide survey by interviewing 600 Floridians between Oct. 10 through Oct. 17. The results are reported with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error +/- 4%. 

The survey shows the toll the election is having on Floridians — 80% of respondents said they are worried about the results of the election, and 55.5% said the election is a considerable source of stress. Republicans and Democrats reported roughly equal levels of election-related stress.

The study also found that 89% of respondents see the 2020 election as “very important” when compared to other recent presidential elections — a sentiment also shared equally between Democrats and Republicans.

And there’s a reason Floridians are stressing — respondents believe this election will have a significant impact.

Just under half, 45%, of respondents believe that their household finances will be significantly impacted by the outcome of the presidential election. Nearly two-thirds, 64%, believe the same about the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe the outcome will affect the COVID-19 pandemic, majorities in both parties still believe it will — 75% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans. 

When looking at issues, Floridians continued to point to the economy and the pandemic. When asked about the primary factor in their voting decision, 28% of respondents said jobs and the economy, and 26% said the COVID-19 pandemic. The only other issue identified by more than 10% of respondents was healthcare, at 16%.

Republicans were significantly more likely to identify jobs and the economy as the most important issue (46%), while Democrats were more likely to say the COVID-19 pandemic (35%).

The survey also touched on voting methods, with a significant chunk of respondents, 43%, indicating they will vote by mail. Only one-third, 34%, said they are planning to vote on Election Day. According to Florida Secretary of State data, in 2016, only 29% of General Election voters cast ballots by mail, showing a significant increase this election cycle. 

About 23% plan on voting in-person at an early voting location.

Democrats are significantly more likely to vote by mail, and Republicans are significantly more likely to vote in person on Election Day. 

The survey also found there is a large concern over foreign interference, with two-thirds of respondents indicating they are either very concerned (27%) or somewhat concerned (40%) about the possibility of foreign governments interfering in the presidential election.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


4 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 21, 2020 at 10:10 am

    This article for some reason gives me hope that WE will return to the common good for all! Our service economy is busted! Our leadership is currently abusing and using our children for Nazi herd immunity! But we the people are very close in trying to find solutions for the common good ! The goptrump cult shall not ever be for the common good! To many lies and a big fat ego in DICtator Trump! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the common good ! ( til the gop finds it way back to truth and good)

  • PeterH

    October 21, 2020 at 10:34 am

    I agree with Sonja that it’s not enough to simply win the presidential election. To make effective change we need competent Democratic leadership down ballot. We can’t be confident that a vaccine “is around the corner” like the Trump administration has been preaching since March. We’re in this pandemic for the long haul. Wear a mask, be vigilant about social distancing and hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. We’re headed for a new normal!

  • Patrick Henry

    October 21, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    There is nothing competent about Democrats. They don’t understand economic policy based on the 8 years of continual 1.7 or less economic growth every quarter under Obama-Biden.

    Before China dumped their lab created Wuhan Coronavirus the U.S. had the best economy for all Americans in 50 years. FACT whether you hate Trump or love him.

    Obama/Clintons, Bushes are establishment Wall Street elitists. Trump cares about Main Street Americans.

    Democrats don’t understand that babies are human beings. They support killing them in utero up until the minute of birth.

    Democrats don’t comprehend or acknowledge the true meaning of the U.S. Constitution or national sovereignty.

    Protect America and re-elect Donald Trump. This is not about a personality it’s about saving our country from Socialism.

  • PeterH

    October 21, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Fun Fact:

    In the past 9 decades of Republican failed leadership there has been only ONE Republican president who left office with a lower unemployment number than what he inherited at the start of their administration. That single Republican incompetent treasure was Reagan and his idiotic Laffer Curve economic policies! In order for Reagan to lower unemployment 1% point he tripled the National Debt.

    Trump inherited 4.6% unemployment from America’s most cherished Obama administration …..and lowered unemployment 1% point by adding $3.4 trillion to the national debt. Trump inherited and ruined Obama’s longest period of economic expansion in USA history. Trump’s current addition to the National Debt is $7 trillion in less than four years.

    The American economy is ALWAYS better with Democratic leadership. Since the Great Depression…..Republicans have a horrible fiscal record.

    Trump’s miserable pandemic leadership is evident around the globe. Trump’s fiscal incompetence is noted globally. Twenty four million residents in Taiwan but SEVEN COVID deaths. Germany has 1/4 of the USA population yet 9,777 deaths. Doing the math ….. the USA should have 40,000 deaths instead of Trump’s 221,000! Unfortunately, Trump’s pandemic incompetence will last longer than his miserable one term in the Oval Office. It’s now impossible to do contact tracing……by this time next year there will be a half million dead Americans from Covid and Trumps failed leadership.

    Once again….. “America’s long national nightmare” is almost over…… but the Republican imposed suffering will continue for another full year!

Comments are closed.


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