Trump Closing to Within Three Points of Clinton in Florida

Donald Trump has closed to within three points of Hillary Clinton in what the Republican nominee has called the “must-win” state of Florida, according to a poll of 500 likely Florida voters conducted by FAU.

Trump has cut in half Clinton’s six-point lead from FAU’s poll just two weeks earlier. Among likely voters in Florida, Clinton leads Trump 46 percent to 43 percent with 6 percent undecided.


By james-hellegaard | 10/26/2016

Donald Trump has closed to within three points of Hillary Clinton in what the Republican nominee has called the “must-win” state of Florida, according to a poll of 500 likely Florida voters conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI).

Trump has cut in half Clinton’s six-point lead from FAU’s poll just two weeks earlier. Among likely voters in Florida, Clinton leads Trump 46 percent to 43 percent with 6 percent undecided.

As expected, Trump has a 17-point lead among white voters, 53 to 36 percent. Clinton has a 49-point lead among African Americans, 73 to 24 percent, and leads with Hispanics, 68 to 19 percent. Clinton is winning with Independents 50 to 34 percent.

Trump enjoys strong support in northern Florida, where he leads Clinton 56 to 32 percent, as well as in the central part of the state, which is breaking 49 to 38 percent in his favor. Clinton is winning overwhelmingly in south Florida 68 to 26 percent.

In a sign of the Clinton campaign’s organizational strength, she leads among the 26 percent of respondents who said they already voted, 54 percent to 41 percent for Trump. Clinton also leads 49 to 40 percent among women voters. Trump leads among those who plan to vote on Election Day, however, 50 to 36 percent.

Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative, said it increasingly looks like this election will turn on which candidate is better able to get their supporters to the polls.

“Sec. Clinton is building a substantial lead among the early voters in our sample,” he said. “That could create a difficult lead to overcome for Mr. Trump on Election Day.” 

Both major party candidates continue to be underwater in terms of their favorability ratings, with Clinton at 44 percent favorable and 54 percent unfavorable, and Trump at 40 percent favorable and 57 percent unfavorable.

When asked if they believe that the winning candidate will win because more people voted for him or her, or because the election results are rigged, 68 percent said it would be because more people voted for the winner while 30 percent said it would be because the election results are rigged. Among Trump voters, 46 percent said it would be because more people voted for the winner while 41 percent said the results are rigged. Conversely, 91 percent of Clinton voters said it would be because more people voted for the winner and only 7 percent said it would be rigged.

In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio holds a four-point lead over Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, 46 to 42 percent, with 12 percent undecided. When asked whether Rubio standing by his endorsement of Donald Trump would make them more or less likely to vote for him, 30 percent said more likely, 37 percent said less likely and 32 percent said it would not make a difference. Among undecided voters, however, 47 percent said they would be more likely to support Rubio while 35 percent said less likely because of his endorsement of Trump.

“The U.S. Senate race is very tight,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI. “Clinton’s recent surge could be helping Murphy, while Rubio could be paying a price for his endorsement of Trump. That’s a high number of undecided so late in the race, and those voters could determine the winner.”

There is overwhelming support for Amendment 2 to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, with 67 percent saying they will vote in favor of the measure.

The poll was conducted in both English and Spanish, and data was collected via Interactive Voice Response. The poll was conducted Oct. 21-23 and carries a +/- 4.3 percent margin of error and a 95 percent confidence level. The full methodology and results can be found at http://business.fau.edu/departments/economics/business-economics-polling/bepi-polls/index.aspx#.WA5MmcmhuCM

For more information, contact Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI, at 561-297-1312 or mescaler@fau.edu, or visit www.business.fau.edu/bepi

-FAU-

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