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Donald Trump Holds Narrow Lead Over Democrats in New Poll of Florida

September 18, 2019 - 2:00pm

A new poll shows President Donald Trump with a narrow lead in the Sunshine State. Trump won Florida in 2016 and it’s a must-win state for his reelection prospects. 

Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI) released a poll on Wednesday looking at the president’s standing in the state. 

Trump has the approval of 49 percent of Florida voters while 46 percent of those surveyed disapprove of him. 

Looking at potential head-to-head matches for November 2020, Trump holds narrow leads over potential Democratic challengers. Trump leads former Vice President Joe Biden 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent. The president also leads U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by the same margin. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., comes closest but Trump edges her 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent. Trump does best against U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., beating her 52 percent to 48 percent. 

FAU also looked at the Florida Republican primary which will be held on March 17. Trump is in excellent shape with Florida Republicans, taking 85 percent of them. Former Gov. and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-SC, places a distant second with 8 percent followed by former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., with 5 percent and former Gov. Bill Weld, R-Mass., with 2 percent. 

The poll shows 75 percent of Florida voters back universal background checks for all gun buyers while 14 percent oppose the idea. Asked about tariffs on Chinese goods, 40 percent of voters think it hurts Americans while 33 percent helps the U.S. and 27 percent say they will have no impact. 

“It seems that the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents agree on universal background checks,” said Monica Escaleras, the director of the FAU BEPI. “However, if tariffs become a central issue in the presidential election, then Independents appear to be more aligned with Democrats.”

Asked about the most important issues,  21 of those surveyed say the economy, 19 percent point to immigration, 18 percent said healthcare and 11 percent said the environment.

The poll of 934 Florida voters was taken from Sept. 12 through Sept. 15 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. The sample looking at the Republican primary over the same dates had a margin of error of +/- 5.2 percent. 

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