The president is ahead with white voters and those in small towns or rural areas, while his opponent leads among Black Floridians and likely voters with a college degree.
(CN) — President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are locked in a dead heat in Florida eight weeks ahead of Election Day, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The NBC News/Marist poll shows support for Trump and Biden evenly split statewide, with each capturing the support of 48% of likely voters in the battleground state.
Among all registered voters, the poll found that Trump holds a 1-point lead over Biden, with 48% of respondents saying they would vote for him if the election were held today compared to 47% who say they would vote for the former vice president.
Although 45% say they approve of Trump’s job performance and 48% say they disapprove, Trump holds the lead over Biden on which candidate would better handle the economy (53% to 40%) and crime (48% to 45%).
However, Biden comes out ahead on who would better handle the Covid-19 pandemic (49% to 40%) and racial unrest, with 51% saying they believe Biden could better handle race issues compared to just 37% for the incumbent.
The poll surveyed 1,146 adults via phone between Aug. 31 and Sept. 6 and reflects data collected from 1,047 registered voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. Based on turnout modeling, 766 of those registered voters are likely to participate in the November election, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
According to the poll, the president is ahead with white voters, especially white men without a college degree, and voters in small towns or rural areas. Trump has also improved his polling among Latinos since the 2016 exit poll, garnering 50% in Tuesday’s poll compared to 35% in his race against Hillary Clinton.
But Trump has lost his lead with Florida’s seniors, polling at 48% among people 65 and older compared to 57% in 2016.
Biden has the advantage among Black voters in the state, the poll found, and those with a college degree who are likely to vote.
“It’s not unusual for Florida to be this close,” Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said Tuesday.
“If Trump loses Florida, it’s game over. If Trump wins, the story of the night will still have to be told,” Miringoff added, likely referring to other crucial battleground states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Trump won Florida by just over 1 percentage point four years ago.