UNF poll finds Joe Biden with 6-point lead over President Trump with Florida voters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A poll by released Tuesday by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab found former Vice President Joe Biden has a 6-point lead over President Donald Trump among likely Florida voters.

The poll, conducted in the two days immediately after last week’s presidential debate and before the president was diagnosed with COVID-19, found that 51% would vote for Biden if the election were held today, 45% would vote for Trump, 1% would vote for someone else and 3% were undecided.

When UNF asked the same question of a similar group of likely votes in February, both Biden and Trump polled at 45% support while 10% were undecided.

“This large 6-point gap between the candidates is likely attributed to the immediate aftermath of the debate," said Dr. Michael Binder, director of UNF’s polling center, but added that 73% of those questioned said the debate didn’t influence their decision at all.

Of those who said they voted for Trump in 2016, 91% plan to vote for him again this year while 7% said they would vote for Biden. Of those who voted for Hillary Clinton four years ago, 93% plan to vote for Biden this year and 6% said they would vote for Trump

Of those surveyed, 42% said they planned to vote by mail, while the rest were evenly split between voting in-person early or on election day.

Overall, 72% of those polled agree either strongly or somewhat that the election will be fair and trustworthy, but the responses, like the support of the candidates, varied strongly by party affiliation. Only 58% of Republicans felt that way and 41% disagreed, either somewhat or strongly. Among Democrats, 86% believe the election will be fair and trustworthy, with only 15% saying they don’t trust that the election will be fair.

“The amount of people that indicated they didn’t necessarily trust that it would be a fair election is concerning,” Binder said.

Coronavirus: Asked about the pandemic as it relates to the economy, 61% said the federal government is not doing enough to help, while 9% said the government is doing too much and 29% said it is doing the right amount.

Those surveyed had similar responses about the state government, with 59% saying it are not doing enough, 6% saying too much and 34% the right amount. When asked about the easing of social distancing restrictions, 52% said the state government is moving too quickly, with 16% saying too slowly, and 32% about right.

Supreme Court: Regarding the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 52% said they would like the candidate who wins the November election to nominate a justice after being sworn in in January, 42% said they would like to see the Senate confirm Barrett before the election and 5% said they would prefer the president to nominate a justice after the election but before the inauguration of the president-elect.

Racial justice: When asked if they believe black people and white people receive equal treatment by police, 56% of those polled said they strongly or somewhat disagree. When asked the same question about police treatment of Hispanic people and white people, 53% disagreed. Of those surveyed, 53% believe police-involved deaths of Black people are signs of a broad problem of systemic racism rather than isolated incidents.

RELATED: UNF poll finds 3 of 6 amendments with enough support to pass

Approval ratings: Voters surveyed about the president, Florida’s two U.S. senators and governor give al of them higher disapproval numbers than approval.

Gov. Ron DeSantis had the best approval rate of 47% with 51% disapproving. Both Trump and Marco Rubio were given 46% approval, although Trump’s disapproval was 53% compared to Rubio’s 51%. Only 45% of those polled approved of Rick Scott, with 53% disapproval.

The poll of 3.142 registered likely voters was conducted last Thursday through Saturday week from an online sample frame from the Florida voter file, according to UNF’s website. The poll was conducted over email via Qualtrics, an online survey platform. The margin of sampling error was +/-1.8 percentage points.

To read the full results of the research findings, click here. UNF’s Public Opinion Research Lab complies in accordance with the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) standards.

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