MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden has a slight lead over President Donald Trump in Florida, according to a new CBS News Battleground Tracker Poll.
In the final stretch of the campaign, half of likely voters (50 percent) in the state say Biden is their choice for president, compared to 48 percent who support Trump. The difference is within the poll’s margin of error.
Each side has very different views about the nature of the problems facing the country, which is one reason there doesn’t appear to be much room for people to change their minds now. In one example, most Trump voters are worried the country will become too socialist. Most Biden voters worry the country will become too authoritarian.
And very different views on the coronavirus outbreak still shape the race in all these states. In all, most Biden voters are very concerned about getting it, and Trump’s voters, by comparison, are far less concerned. Biden also gets better marks overall on how he would handle the outbreak.
Each set of supporters also has different criteria shaping their vote. Biden voters are more likely to say that a candidate’s personal character is a major factor in it. In Florida, eight in 10 Biden voters say it is — compared to just 35% of Trump voters. For Trump voters, the economy and immigration are the major factors.
And while the economy continues to be an area where the president does better than Biden, it’s not enough to propel him into a vote preference lead, at least not yet.
Biden leads among voters who have already cast their ballot, while Trump leads among likely voters who have yet to vote.
More from CBSMiami.com
Barack Obama Holds Drive-In Rally For Joe Biden In North Miami
COVID-19 In South Florida: 309 New Cases In Miami-Dade, 285 In Broward
Police Investigating Double Shooting Outside Miami Club
What’s changed from 2016?
White Voters: In Florida, along with the battleground states of North Carolina and Georgia, Biden’s share of the white vote is currently larger than Clinton’s was in 2016. And there has been a shift among white voters with college degrees in particular — a pattern we’ve seen across the battleground states. In 2016, Trump won this group by double digits in all three states. Now Biden leads among them in North Carolina, is neck and neck with Trump in Florida, and has dramatically reduced Trump’s margin in Georgia.
Biden currently leads among white women with college degrees in Florida and North Carolina; and across all three states, it’s not the lead that tells the story, it’s the shifts from four years ago that does. Biden’s 52% in Florida is up from 37% that Clinton got; his 45% in Georgia up from 34% from Clinton; his 56% in North Carolina is 11 points better than Clinton.
In Georgia, white voters without college degrees — both men and women — tend to like how Trump handles himself personally and dislike Biden’s approach. These voters were a big part of Trump’s winning coalition in 2016, and they continue to back him in strong numbers. White evangelicals, who made up more than a third of the electorate in Georgia and North Carolina in 2016, continue to support President Trump by large majorities in these states.
Black and Hispanic Voters: In Florida, Biden’s support among Black voters (92%), is higher than the 84% who backed Clinton — and a bit closer to Barack Obama’s margins in 2008 and 2012. In Georgia and North Carolina, Biden is getting a level of Black voter support similar to what Clinton’s was. Biden continues to lead among Latino voters in Florida by a margin similar to Clinton’s.
Seniors and young voters: Biden is cutting into Trump’s 2016 margins with seniors in Florida and Georgia, cutting the president’s 2016 advantage in half. In North Carolina, Biden has a two-point edge with seniors, a group Trump won by 23 points in 2016.
Other voter groups have shifted too. Though they traditionally make up a smaller voting block than older voters, there is also a larger shift among younger voters in Florida to the Democratic column. Biden leads by 39 points among voters under 30, which is more than double Hillary Clinton’s 18-point advantage among this group four years ago.
Urbanity: The more diverse urban areas of these states favor Biden, while rural areas favor Trump, with the suburbs a battleground in which younger, non-white voters are mostly voting for Joe Biden and older white voters are voting for Trump.