BOCA RATON, Fla., Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- After falling behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden in May, U.S. President Donald Trump has surged back into a virtual dead heat in the battleground Sunshine State, according to a statewide survey of registered Florida voters by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI).
Biden holds a 49 percent to 46 percent lead, with 5 percent undecided, but those undecideds are breaking for Trump 4:1, resulting in a statistical tie at 50 percent for each candidate.
Trump led Biden in FAU's March poll, 51 percent to 49 percent, but Biden gained a 53 percent to 47 percent advantage in May.
Among Trump voters, 72 percent said they are extremely excited for the election, while 60 percent of Biden supporters expressed the same sentiment.
Many analysts believe Trump must win Florida to regain the White House in November.
"Florida continues to be too close to call, but the enthusiasm still favors President Trump, and that could be the difference," said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., a professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative. "With only 5 percent of the voters undecided, this election is less about persuasion and more about turnout."
The economy was the top issue for voters surveyed at 37 percent, with the coronavirus second (17 percent) and healthcare third (14 percent). Racism/equality ranked fourth at 10 percent, just ahead of foreign policy (9 percent). No other issue eclipsed 5 percent.
The economy is the top issue for 60 percent of Republicans and 37 percent for Independents. But it received top billing for just 15 percent of Democrats, with 27 percent saying the coronavirus was the most important issue.
Trump's approval rating has improved in his new home state since May, with 47 percent of respondents approving of his job performance, up from 43 percent.
The survey of 631 registered Florida voters, conducted Sept. 11-12, has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines and cell phones and an online panel.
SOURCE Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative