- A new Quinnipiac University poll lost President Donald Trump 13 points to former Vice President Joe Biden in Florida.
- As disturbing as the poll for the Trump campaign may be, the general trend – especially with voters aged 65 and over – is the main dynamic to pay attention to.
- Since April, Biden has gained 5 points over Trump in Florida, while Trump has seen his approval for his coronavirus response drop 9 points.
- While Trump gained 4 points over Biden at the Florida senior level, he still drags his Democratic challenger with them and remains unpopular among the majority of Sunshine State seniors.
- The Quinnipiac polls were found to oversample Democrats in 2016 and 2018, but the change in Trump’s approval numbers and polls from Biden has caused turmoil in one of the states most important to the Electoral College. in 2020.
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President Donald Trump, officially a Florida man, slides back to his new home state to former Vice President Joe Biden.
A new Quinnipiac University poll is causing turmoil for the president’s re-election prospects, even taking into account Quinnipiac’s tendency to oversample Democrats in the recent past (FiveThirtyEight gives them a mean reversion bias of + 0, 2% for Democrats and a B + rating).
Thursday’s poll shows Biden leads Trump by 13 points in the Sunshine State, up 4 points from April.
—Politics Polls (@Politics_Polls) July 23, 2020
Trump gets just 38% of the vote in Florida on November 3 would be a shock and remains an unlikely prospect given the GOP’s power in the state populated by wealthier retirees and a strong base of Republican voters in the diaspora Cuban-American.
Even so, the underlying trend is bad for Trump.
The president still trails Biden among seniors in Florida by 49% to 46%. Even though this is a 4-point improvement from April, Trump won the same group of 17 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to polls. This helped Trump narrowly win the state by 1 percentage point.
If Trump cannot secure a firm majority among seniors in a state like Florida, his campaign will be left with minimal options to concoct the 270 electoral votes needed to defeat Biden.
Biden’s advantage among seniors, a high-turnout group typically favoring Republicans, is one of Trump’s biggest obstacles to pulling off his 2016 feat of losing the popular vote while winning the electoral college.
Forty-six percent of Florida seniors have a “strongly unfavorable” view of Trump. This category was not included in the April poll, where overall Trump approval among the population was only 42% to begin with.
Compare that to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has 51% approval among voters 65 and over, and a troubling dynamic is emerging for the president compared to a base of pro-GOP voters who have also degraded on DeSantis following its response to the coronavirus.
To regain a secure position in Florida, Trump will need to quickly increase his preference for seniors over Biden.
But moving away from trailing Biden with the seniors to that 17% advantage as of 2016 will be a daunting task with less than four months to go, and the coronavirus still shows no signs of slowing down in the Sunshine State.