President Donald Trump faced close election possibilities in Florida long before the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2016, up against Democratic Party rival Hillary Clinton, Trump barely won the state (and its 29 Electoral College votes), achieving “victory” by just 1.2 percent of the vote.
In polls from last month, Trump was showing a bit of an expansion from his 2016 win. In a Univision poll conducted in the middle of March, for example, Trump was ahead of current Democratic Party nominee frontrunner Joe Biden by a margin of 48 percent to 45 percent.
But Trump’s bumbling of a response to coronavirus seems to be making Floridians nervous. A new poll out from the University of North Florida has numbers out that should send Team Trump into panic mode, as the state is a must-win for Trump to see himself back in the White House next year.
According to the poll, 93 percent of Florida residents are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about COVID-19, while just 6 percent say they’re not. Floridians are also more concerned about the overall public’s health (67 percent) than they are the economic impact of social distancing and stay-at-home measures (31 percent).
Trump, meanwhile, has been adamant at times about re-opening the economy, in spite of these concerns. Polling shows that Florida voters aren’t responding positively to those sentiments, nor to his overall approach to the crisis.
A total of 53 percent of Florida residents disapprove of Trump’s response so far, with only 42 percent approving. And close to 6-in-10 Floridians don’t think Trump delivers reliable information to them about COVID-19 when he talks on the subject.
A University of North Florida poll showed Trump trailing Democrat Joe Biden 40 percent to 46 percent among 3,244 registered voters surveyed by email.https://t.co/hNwK5kHPcT
— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) April 6, 2020
These negative outlooks on Trump’s response to the disease seem to have affected voters’ preferences. If the election were held today, according to the poll, a total of 46 percent say they’d vote for Biden, while only 40 percent said they’d choose Trump.
That +6 split for Biden represents a 9-point turnaround, when compared to the Univision poll from last month.
Florida, as mentioned before, has 29 Electoral College votes. If the 2016 results stayed the same, except the Sunshine State went to Biden, Trump would still eke out a victory, but it’d be much tighter than his previous win.
That being said, the incumbent president is also facing troubles in a number of other swing states. With Florida appearing to leave his corner, and a number of others also looking like they’re turning against him, the path to re-election looks narrower and narrower for Trump by the day.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.