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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida poll: Trump 43, Clinton 41; Rubio beating Murphy



Donald Trump has made up for lost ground in Florida, according to a new poll from Florida Atlantic University.

Trump gets 43 percent of the vote while Clinton scores 41 percent, within the poll's margin of error.

One finding is raising questions: Clinton leads Trump with Hispanics 50 percent to 40 percent. That puts Trump's support at a much higher level than other polls. The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Clinton up 3.6 percentage points.

In the Senate race, Marco Rubio has a slightly better advantage over Patrick Murphy, 44 to 39.

Neither candidate has to worry about the Aug. 30 primary, the FAU poll shows. Rubio is getting 69 percent of the vote vs. 8 percent for Carlos Beruff. Murphy has 54 percent, with no rival in double digits. Alan Grayson is at a dismal 8 percent, one percentage point better than Pam Keith.

From a news release:

For the presidential race, both candidates are underwater in terms of their favorability ratings in Florida. Trump scores a 41 percent favorable and 56 percent unfavorable rating, while Clinton has 40 percent favorable and 58 percent unfavorable rating. Clinton, meanwhile, has a loyalty score of 90 percent (those who have a favorable opinion and are voting for her), while Trump has a loyalty score of 94 percent. Trump leads among males 46 percent to 36 percent, but trails Clinton among women 45 percent to 41 percent. Independents are voting for Trump by a wide margin of 47 percent to 26 percent. Trump leads among white voters 49 to 33 percent, but trails with African Americans 68 to 20 percent, as well as Hispanics 50 to 40 percent.

“The race between Clinton and Trump among Hispanics in Florida is closer than it is nationally,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI. “Some of that is probably the Cuban vote. Trump’s support among Latinos in Florida is helping him stay competitive.”

Clinton is beating Trump in three of the four age groups. She leads with 18 to 34 year olds by three points, 38 to 35 percent; 55- to 74-year-old voters 45 to 43 percent; while those over 75 provide her the strongest support at 60 to 34 percent. Trump leads among 35- to 54-year-old voters 53 to 30 percent.

Trump’s strongest regional support is in the western part of Florida where he leads 52 to 34 percent, and in the north at 47 to 32 percent. Trump also leads in the central region 44 to 36 percent. Clinton’s support is in South Florida, where she leads 57 to 30 percent.

The top issue for voters was dissatisfaction with government at 29 percent, followed by jobs at 18 percent; immigration at 13 percent; and ISIS at 12 percent. The top quality for voters is experience at 27 percent; followed by Commander-in-Chief at 16 percent; trustworthiness at 15 percent; and focus on the economy at 14 percent. Wanting an outsider was mentioned by 12 percent of respondents.

Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative, said that despite the national trend, the presidential race in Florida remains close and is within the survey’s margin of error.

“The fact that both Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton are significantly upside down in their favorability ratings could make it difficult for either to move substantially ahead,” he said. “Clinton likely got a boost from the fact that Floridians chose experience as the top quality they are looking for in their presidential candidate. But, Floridians also chose dissatisfaction with government as their top issue, which likely favors Mr. Trump.”

The Florida poll was conducted Aug. 19-22. The polling sample was a random selection of registered voters. The Democratic primary consisted of 364 registered Democrat likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/-5.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. The Republican primary consisted of 327 registered Republican likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/-5.4 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

The General election poll consisted of 1,200 registered likely voters with a margin of error of +/-2.7 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 1:15pm]


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