Donald Trump in Florida by 13 percentage points, the presumptive Democratic nominee’s largest margin over the president in a top battleground state four months out from the 2020 presidential election, a new poll finds.
The new poll released by Quinnipiac University on Thursday found Biden capturing a majority of registered voters and easily leading Trump, 51-38%. Biden got a major bump in support since the last Quinnipiac Florida survey conducted in April when he only led by a 4-point margin.
Biden holds an even stronger lead among independent voters, 48-32%, that has also grown since the April poll. The former vice president also narrowly leads among voters who are age 65 and older, a pivotal group in Florida that typically leans more in favor of Republicans. Most recent public polling in Florida has shown Biden with a single-digit margin, but this poll comes at a time when the state is grappling with a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths.
“The president doesn’t escape the shifting moods and concerns of voters in Florida. His sagging numbers are a gut punch from one of the key states he keenly hopes to win,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
The declining numbers comes four years after Trump eked out a victory in Florida by a little more than 1 percentage point. Florida is a pivotal battleground state with a growing Latino population and a large electorate of senior voters.
Biden outperforms Trump on most issues with the exception of the economy. Registered voters believe the former vice president can better handle a crisis, health care, the response to the pandemic and addressing racial inequality. But voters narrowly believe Trump can navigate the economy better than a Biden White House, 50-47%.
The president had been looking to campaign for reelection on a strong economy, though he faces challenges amid a viral outbreak that prompted a spike in the unemployment rate and left tens of millions of Americans out of work. There had been some promising signs for the economy as businesses started to reopen last month, but a resurgence of the virus has prompted new closings and mandatory mask orders in some parts of the state. According to the poll, 83% of Florida voters consider the transmission of the virus as a “serious problem,” while 16% don’t. There are similar numbers among voters who believe Floridians should be required to wear masks or face coverings in public, 79-20%.
Trump is planning to hold a scaled-back version of the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, which is a part of the state that more heavily favors the president. The poll found, however, that 62% of voters believe it’ll be unsafe to convene the RNC in late August.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted from July 16-20 and surveyed 924 self-identified registered voters in Florida. The margin of error was 3.2 percentage points.