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Poll: Biden holds narrow lead in Florida

NBC News logo NBC News 10/29/2020 Mark Murray
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WASHINGTON — Joe Biden holds a slight 4-point lead over President Donald Trump in the battleground of Florida, fueled by his standing among seniors and independents, according to the final NBC News/Marist poll of the state before Tuesday's presidential election.

Biden is supported by 51 percent of likely voters, while Trump gets 47 percent. Just a combined 2 percent of likely Florida voters are undecided or are voting for another candidate.

Importantly, Biden's lead is within the poll's margin of error of plus-minus 4.4 percentage points.

In September's NBC News/Marist poll — conducted after the political conventions — the candidates were tied at 48 percent.

In the most recent poll, Biden has advantages among Black voters (84 percent to 14 percent), whites with college degrees (58 percent to 40 percent), women (57 percent to 41 percent), independents (55 percent to 41 percent) and seniors (53 percent to 46 percent).

In September, Biden and Trump were essentially tied among seniors, while Biden was ahead among independents by 11 points.

Trump's advantages, meanwhile, are among Florida Latinos (52 percent to 46 percent), white voters (52 percent to 45 percent), men (54 percent to 44 percent) and whites without college degrees (62 percent to 36 percent).

Trump held a similar lead among Latinos in September's NBC News/Marist poll of the state.

"Right now, Biden runs up the score among voters 65-plus and independents — groups Trump carried in 2016," said Lee Miringoff, who conducts the Marist poll.

"Still, Trump keeps pace with Biden among Latino voters, a group Trump lost badly last time," he said.


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47 percent of Florida voters approve of Trump's job

The poll shows that 47 percent of likely voters in the state approve of Trump's job performance — matching his ballot percentage — with 50 percent disapproving.

In September, it was 47 percent approval to 48 percent disapproval.

Trump's favorable/unfavorable rating in the new poll stands at 45 percent positive and 52 percent negative. (It was 47 percent positive and 50 percent negative in September.)

Biden's favorable/unfavorable rating stands at 48 percent positive and 49 percent negative. (It was 46 percent positive and 49 percent negative last month.)

As for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, 47 percent of likely voters approve of his job performance, while 46 percent disapprove.

The NBC News/Marist poll also measured sentiment about Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed Monday by the Senate to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

Forty-nine percent of likely voters say they support her confirmation, while 41 percent oppose it.

What the poll's sample looks like

As Marist works to ensure that harder-to-reach voters are included in its samples, 19 percent of the likely voters surveyed came from the north/Panhandle region of the state, 19 percent are from Orlando and the central coast, 16 percent are from the Tampa area, 19 percent are from the central part of the state, and 27 percent are from the Miami and Florida Keys areas.

Thirty-three percent of likely voters identify as Republican, 29 percent are Democrats, and 36 percent are independents.

And 42 percent of all likely voters hold college degrees, while whites with college degrees make up 27 percent of the likely voter sample.

All of those demographic numbers are consistent with the NBC News/Marist poll from September.

The NBC News/Marist poll of Florida surveyed 743 likely voters by cellphone and landline interviews from Oct. 25 to 27. It has a margin of error of plus-minus 4.4 percentage points. The poll also interviewed 1,001 registered voters (plus-minus 3.9 percentage points) and 1,125 adults (plus-minus 3.6 percentage points).

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