The Republican incumbent is behind Biden nationally and has not led a poll since March in right-leaning Florida.
FLORIDA — Fact: No Republican has won the presidency without Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes since 1924, when Calvin Coolidge was elected to office. This brings a sobering note, if not a death knell, to President Donald Trump’s hopes of reelection in November, some experts believe. That’s because when it comes to the numbers, things are not looking good for Trump in Florida, as he is behind Biden on every poll.
In a state that skews to the right of the nation, the Republican incumbent has not led a poll since March. In fact, despite his campaign having spent more in advertising in Florida than in any other state (by his campaign’s own admission), Trump has been soundly bested by presumptive Democratic contender Joe Biden in every single survey of registered voters.
The Numbers Point to Biden
- A CNN/SSRS poll taken from July 18 to 24 among 1,005 Florida registered voters, found that 51% of respondents would vote for Biden if elections were held today, while 46% said they would vote for Trump. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
- Another July poll by Quinnipiac University found that 51% of 924 registered voters surveyed chose Biden over Trump, with Trump trailing with 38%. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
- A St. Pete poll from FloridaPolitics.com and AARP Florida that surveyed 3,018 registered voters in the battleground state has Biden leading Trump across all gender and age demographics with 50.4% percent of the votes (except for voters over 70), versus Trump’s 44.4%.
- And a Real Clear Politics average analysis of multiple polls showed Biden beating Trump by an average of 7.8 points in Florida and by 9.1 points nationally.
The Coronavirus Effect
The downward trend started as early as March, when more than half —53%— of Florida voters surveyed in a University of Florida poll disapproved of Trump’s response to the growing COVID-19 health crisis.
Fast forward to July, when the Florida Department of Health (DOH) reports 451,423 total confirmed cases of the illness as of July 29, making the Sunshine State the country’s hot spot for the novel coronavirus.
The president’s tepid and erratic response to the pandemic —claiming at one point it would “go away,” refusing to wear a mask in public, and suggesting bleach could cure it, among other gaffes— has severely impacted his approval ratings.
Indeed, a July poll produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates that surveyed a random national sample of 1,006 adults in English and Spanish, revealed that 64% of Americans don’t trust the president so much, or not at all, when it comes to what he says about COVID-19.
This takes on a new significance when the same poll reveals that 63% of Americans versus 33% believe it’s more important to control the spread of the virus than to restart the economy, which has been Donald Trump’s —and his staunch ally in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis’— rallying cry.
With the economy taking a back seat to the need to control the spread of the pandemic, Trump’s future in Florida seems progressively uncertain.
In conclusion: “It’s certainly looking bad for Trump right now,” Eric Johnson, a Democratic political strategist in Florida told Time magazine. “It is almost impossible to see how a Republican President wins without Florida.”