Biden Maintains Slight Lead in Florida, Two Polls Show

People wait in line to vote outside of an early voting site, Oct. 20, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CN) — Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to hold a narrow lead over President Donald Trump in Florida, according to two new polls of likely voters released Thursday.

Days ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, separate polls from Monmouth University and NBC News/Marist both show a stable race in the Sunshine State, with Biden clinging to a slight lead. 

Marist pollsters, who in September found the candidates were tied in Florida at 48%, said on Thursday that 51% of likely voters now support Biden.

The poll shows Trump, who has a negative favorability rating among Floridians, trailing behind by 4 percentage points at 47%. 

Marist attributed Biden’s lead to several reasons, including an increased support among younger and senior voters. 

“Right now, Biden runs up the score among voters 65+ and independents, groups Trump carried in 2016,” Marist Director Lee Miringoff said in a statement on Thursday. 

Among seniors, the poll shows Biden up by 7 points. 

The Monmouth poll released on the same day, however, shows Florida’s senior vote divided, with 51% for Trump and 47% for Biden.

Biden’s favorability score, according to Marist, is 48% compared to the 49% of voters who view the Democrat negatively. This figure is up slightly from his 46% to 49% rating in September.

Also in the Democrat’s favor is a whopping 84%-14% lead among Black voters in Florida.

“Still, Trump keeps pace with Biden among Latino voters,” Miringoff added, noting that this is a voting demographic that Trump “lost badly last time.”

The last two presidential elections were decided by a single percentage point in the battleground state, with former President Barack Obama having won by a mere .9 percentage points in 2012 and former Trump rival Hillary Clinton losing in 2016 by 1 point.

Clinton had firmly secured Florida’s Latino vote during that election year with a 27-point lead.

But now, after months of courting this group of voters, the Republican candidate has the advantage with 52% compared to Biden’s 46%.

“Biden appears to be holding on to enough support among Latino voters and is potentially building a cushion with younger voters overall. Trump needs to get a larger share of his base out to vote on Election Day in order to repeat his 2016 victory,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

His poll shows Biden leading 59% to 39% among those who have already voted, but Trump has a 53% to 38% edge when it comes to those who have not yet cast their ballots. 

Also using likely voter models, Monmouth University on Thursday put the race at 51% for Biden and 45% for Trump if this year brings a high voter turnout. 

Fifty-nine percent of registered voters in the state say they have already cast their ballots. 

Alongside several candidates on Florida’s ballot this year are multiple state amendments. One is a measure to change the state’s primary system for state and local offices. 

Monmouth says that 53% of the state’s voters “support adopting an open ‘jungle’ primary format where the top two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation, while 30% oppose this.”

The other amendment is a measure to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in five years. 

Sixty-three percent of registered voters said they support the measure compared to 32%, who say they plan to vote against it.

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