Joe Biden is now polling higher in Florida than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump did at any point during the 2016 campaign.
Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee and former vice president, carries a 6.8-percentage-point lead over incumbent President Donald Trump, as of the end of July, according to a Tampa Bay Times average of state polls. Biden leads Trump 50.1 to 43.3.
Tampa Bay Times polling average
Not every poll shows him with such a wide lead. Among the five latest unique polls in the Times survey, two — the most recent — show smaller leads for Biden, of 4 and 5 points. One poll in the mix, unlike the rest, shows the Democrat up 13 points, pulling the candidates’ average gap apart.
But more polls have started to show a more important finding — Biden is regularly earning about 50 percent support from Floridians. Polls showing him with 50 percent of the vote or more mean that even if all of the remaining undecided voters broke for Trump, it still wouldn’t be enough to pass Biden.
Biden is doing better overall than a month ago, when the Times average of state polls had him at 47.4 percent, while maintaining his lead.
According to our average, only about 6.6 percent of Floridians are undecided or would vote for someone other than Biden or Trump.
That’s a marked difference from where former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was running in 2016. Clinton led for most of the campaign, although polls just before the election did show her trailing. (Clinton eventually lost, 47.8 to Trump’s 49.0).
Clinton led in the polls by as much as almost 7 points in May, and by about 4 points at times in August and October, but there were many more undecided voters in those polls.
According to RealClearPolitics, on July 30, 2016, about 12.7 percent of voters were undecided or supported a non-major-party candidate — almost twice as many as there are now.
Clinton never once averaged more than about 48.3 percent of the vote in Florida, according to the outlet. She was only above the 47 percent mark for 14 total days over the course of the race.
But RealClearPolitics says Biden has been above 50 percent for the last week of July and that he’s been above 47 percent since mid-May.
FiveThirtyEight pegs Biden’s average share of the vote at 49.7 percent, and The Economist says it’s 52.4 percent. Both outlets use national polls in addition to state polls to estimate Florida.
In 2016, Donald Trump won lots of voters who did not make up their minds until just before Election Day. It appears that, this time, there will be fewer of those voters to go around.