Compared to Florida in 2016, How are Trump and Biden Doing?

October 12, 2020

We are now at 22 days until the election and although Biden is significantly ahead in the national polls, many swing states are still too close to call. As we all know by now, the national popular vote doesn’t determine who wins the White House.

Historically, the Republican nominee has to win Florida in order to win the election. Mathematically, there are other ways, but that road to victory is a rocky one and unlikely.

To determine where Biden is in relationship to Hillary Clinton on the same dates in 2016, I have compiled polling data from the same two periods, from September 21 through October 5, in both 2016 and 2020.

In Chart 1 and Table 1 below, you can see the Florida polls in 2016 showed the race very close during this period. Hillary Clinton had an average lead of only 2.6% during this period.

10/3 – 10/54446
10/4 – 10/44547
10/2 – 10/44544
9/27 – 10/44047
9/27 – 10/24449
9/28 – 9/294647
9/27 – 9/294246
9/19 – 9/214544

In 2020, Trump and Biden, are again reprising the 2016 contest as shown in Chart and Table 2 below.

10/6 – 10/74346
9/29 – 10/74945
10/2 – 10/45046
10/1 – 10/55140
10/1 – 10/44545
10/1 – 10/45145
9/30 – 10/14742
9/23 – 9/264643
9/21 – 9/225047

The only difference is that Biden has an average 3.7% lead, a minor improvement of only 1.1% over 2016. (Remember the MOE is about +/-3%) Simply put, it looks pretty much the same as 2016. Just a reminder, Donald Trump carried Florida by only 1.2%.

Can anyone tell you which candidate will likely win Florida? Of course not. The only thing we can predict is that, as is usual in Florida, the race will likely go down to the last vote counted.

The only good news is that Florida seems positioned to count the ballots efficiently and relatively quickly. But the race will likely be too close to call on election night.

Remember, if Florida goes for Biden it will certainly be close. If Trump wins Florida, it will also be close. In either case, the ballot counting and recounting could go on for weeks.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to bed early knowing that the ballot counting will still be going on when I wake up. Be safe…

By Jim Kane

Jim Kane is a pollster and media advisor, and was for fifteen years an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. Kane is founder of the polling firm USAPoll and served as the Director of the Florida Voter Poll. His political clients have included both Republican and Democratic candidates, including the Republican Party of Florida, and both the Sun-Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel newspapers. At the University of Florida, Professor Kane taught graduate level courses in political science on Survey Research, Lobbying and Special Interest Groups in America, Political Campaigning, and Political Behavior. In addition to his professional and academic career, Jim Kane has been actively involved in local and state policy decisions. He was elected to the Broward County Soil and Water Conservation Board (1978-1982) and the Port Everglades Authority (1988-1994). Kane also served as an appointed member of the Broward County Planning Council (1995-2003), Broward County Management Review Committee (Chair, 1990-1991), Broward County Consumer Protection Board (1976-1982), and the Broward County School Board Consultants Review Committee (1986-1990).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *