Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead all Democratic candidates in Florida–but that lead is shrinking according to a new poll from Florida Atlantic University (FAU).
The survey measured 934 Florida registered voters between September 12th and 15th and showed many interesting trends. Biden came in at 39 percent among Florida Democrats in an FAU survey done in May but has dropped to 34 percent in the current poll which was released on Wednesday.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. checks in at second place with 24 percent. The Massachusetts senator doubled her support since May from 12 percent to her current standing.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is in third place with 14 percent of those polled, up 2 points since May.
For the rest of the candidates in the Democratic race, it is going to be a long, hard slog to gain any traction in Sunshine State but there is plenty of time before the primary on March 17. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is polling at 5 percent while U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. is at 4 percent. No other candidate on the Democratic side gets more than 3 percent in the FAU poll, including the lone Florida candidate Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam. It remains to be seen how many of these candidates will even be in the race by the time the Florida primary rolls around, but U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., for one, believes she can make it. She campaigned in the Miami area earlier this month.
The survey also included a primary on the Republican side and it should come as no surprise that President Donald Trump is ahead with 85 percent support. Former Gov. Mark Sanford, R-SC, picks up 8 percent, former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., takes 5 percent and former Gov. Bill Weld, R-Mass., lags with 2 percent.
Trump also holds a 49 percent approval rating with all Florida voters, higher than his nationwide numbers.
Florida Atlantic also looked at a head to head matchup pitting Trump against Democratic challengers. Florida is poised to do what it does best if the surveys are accurate–have a really close election. If that election were held today, the poll shows it would be a statistical dead heat between Trump and Biden, Warren or Bernie Sanders. Trump does better against Harris, leading her by 4 points.
The survey also looked at the attitudes of Florida voters on some hot topics, including gun control. According to the polling, 75 percent of Floridians favor universal background checks for all gun buyers with just 14 percent opposed.
“It seems that the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents agree on universal background checks,” said Monica Escaleras, the director of the FAU Business and Economics Polling Institute.
Florida voters are more split on tariffs with 40 percent saying they hurt America, 33 percent saying they help America and 27 percent saying they have no effect.
The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. The margin of error for the Republican primary is +/- 5.2 percentage points while the margin for error for the Democratic primary is +/- 4.9 percent.
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