Florida, 19 Wks Till Votes Counted, Clinton 4 Atop Trump; Marco and Murphy Tied in Pivotal Battle for Rubio’s Senate Seat; Amendment 2 Up
Donald Trump desperately needs Florida’s 29 electoral votes to capture the White House in 134 days. But in an election for President in Florida today, between presumptive Republican Party nominee Trump and presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton, Clinton edges Trump, according to a SurveyUSA poll commissioned by Bay News 9 in Tampa and News 13 in Orlando.
At this hour, it’s Clinton 46%, Trump 42%, Libertarian Gary Johnson 2%, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein 1%. 19 weeks until votes are counted, Trump leads among Florida’s white voters and among Florida’s Cubans, but trails among Florida’s non-Cuban Hispanics, Florida’s blacks and Florida’s Asians. Among “very conservative” men, a group Trump must dominate, he holds 73% of the vote, but loses 20%, who cross-over to Clinton. Among high-school educated men, Trump leads, as one would expect, but just by 16 points, 54% to 38%. Among the most affluent voters, who typically gravitate to Republicans, Trump and Clinton tie, 44% each.
In Southeast Florida, which includes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties (Mar a Lago is in Palm Beach County), Trump trails 56% to 32%. Trump leads in Northwest FL, Northeast FL, and Central FL, and ties Clinton in Southwest FL, but that is not enough for him to overcome Clinton’s advantage in the population centers of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Boca Raton. Clinton leads by 12 points among voters under age 50. Trump leads by 2 points among voters age 50+. Clinton leads by 11 points among women. Trump leads by 3 points among men — a 14-point gender gap.
Trump wins pro-life voters by 40 points, he wins gun owners by 22 points and wins Evangelicals by 28 points. Tea-Party members break 4:1 for Trump. Moderates break 5:3 for Clinton. Among voters who say the economy is the most important issue, Clinton leads Trump by 9. Among voters who say that national security is the most important issue, Trump edges Clinton. Among voters who say that immigration is the most important issue, Trump crushes Clinton by 45 points.
In a hypothetical election today for United States Senator from Florida, incumbent Republican Marco Rubio, who vowed not to seek re-election before seeking re-election, may or may not hold onto his seat, today’s poll results show. In a match-up against possible Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, Rubio and Murphy tie, 43% each, at this hour. If the Democrats instead nominate Alan Grayson, Rubio today leads narrowly, 44% to 40%. Much can and will change in this contest as voters get re-accustomed to Rubio being back in the race, but for now, the contest is a jump-ball. Trump’s coattails, or lack of coattails, may help determine Rubio’s fate. The seat has national significance if the Democrats are able to pick-up 4 or more other U.S. Senate seats on Election Day.
The 08/30/16 Republican primary is not competitive — Rubio has 3 times as many vote as his 3 Republican challengers combined. The Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate is not yet on voters’ radar. The last 5 public polls released in the contest show, on average, 45% of likely voters to be undecided. SurveyUSA today finds 35% of likely Democratic Primary voters undecided. Among voters with a preference, Murphy is at 30%, atop Grayson at 21%, Pam Keith at 10%, Reginald Luster at 3% and Rocky De La Fuente at 2%. Any outcome is possible, though Grayson certainly would rather be in Murphy’s shoes today.
Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana for individuals with certain conditions, is 3:1 favored to pass at this hour. Opposition to ballot measures increases as Election Day approaches. When votes are counted in 134 days, the “No” vote may be significantly greater than it is today.
Voter Screening / Historical Context: SurveyUSA interviewed 2,000 state of Florida adults 06/25/16 through 06/27/16. Research began as soon as names on the primary ballots were finalized 06/24/16. Most interviews were completed after the results of the British vote to leave the European Union were announced. Of the 2,000 adults interviewed, 1,873 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 555 were determined by SurveyUSA to be eligible and likely to vote in the 08/30/16 Democratic Primary, 618 were determined by SurveyUSA to be eligible and likely to vote in the 08/30/16 Republican Primary. Only voters eligible and likely to vote in each primary were asked the Senate primary horse-race questions. 1,678 survey respondents were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 11/08/16 general election for President, other state offices and statewide ballot measures. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on their home telephone (66% of likely November voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (34% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device. In 2012, Democrat Barack Obama carried Florida by less than 1 percentage point. In 2008, Obama carried Florida by 3 percentage points. In 2004, George W Bush carried Florida by 5 percentage points. In 2000, a handful of votes separated Al Gore and Bush before The Supreme Court of the United States awarded the state to Bush. In 1996, Bill Clinton carried the state by 6 points, the largest margin of victory for either party in Florida in the past 25 years. In 1992 George Herbert Walker Bush carried Florida by 2 points.