One of the more famous quotes in American political history came from the late Tim Russert of NBC, who used his whiteboard to update the results of the chaotic recount taking place that would determine the next President of the United States. But no matter which machinations of the math during the chaos of 2000 you tried to slice it, it all came down to one thing:
Florida. Florida. Florida.
It’s the state that always means so much, and has voted with the winner of the last six presidential elections. There’s still a path for the Democrats to win the election without it, but for the Republican party a loss in the Sunshine State is likely the death knell for their ability to retain the White House. But where does it stand now?
You can make a few dollars on finding the outcome of the upcoming via DraftKings, who is offering $100,000 as part of a free fantasy sports Presidential election contest for those that can predict the winner of 11 swing states for the electoral college. Additionally, PredictIt has established markets for elections that allow you to earn some money while also providing research on elections.
Current Florida presidential polling
The last/best polls from Nov 1:
A+: ABC News/WaPo: Likely voters: Trump 50-48
A+: ABC News/WaPo: Registered voters: Trump 49-47
A-: Emerson: Likely voters: Biden 52-46
A+: Siena/New York Times: Biden 47-44
There’s a big spread between what the polls and PredictIt say, so assess wisely!
For the first time since we’ve been charting PredictIt, President Trump is ahead in the Sunshine State. But the polling doesn’t necessarily align with the switch. An A-B rated poll from the University of North Florida released this morning has Biden leading 48%-47% still, as he has been pretty consistently as of late.
In that sample the President’s job approval sits at 47% of likely voters approving while 49% disapprove.
A New York Times/Siena College A+-rated poll has Biden leading 47%-42%, with the sample taken both before and after President Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19. The poll has 61% of voters in the Sunshine State saying they’ll vote before election day either in person at an early voting location, or by mail. It means the decision in one of the most important states might be made sooner rather than later.
As it so often does, it might come down to turnout in Florida. An NBC News/Washington Post A+-rated poll has Joe Biden leading among registered voters 48%-47%, but trailing Trump 51%-48% among likely voters. The difference between winning and losing is, as always on the peninsula, down to the effectiveness of the ground game.
There’s been plenty of polling in the Sunshine State, but the most reliable is an A+-rated Monmouth University poll released on September 15th that shows Joe Biden leading 50%-45% in a high-turnout model, and 49%-46% in a low turnout model of voting.
Amongst the 428 likely voters surveyed, President Trump had a 41% approval rating and a 51% disapproval. And amongst Latinos, Biden led 58% to 32% in a state where about one in five voters identifies as Hispanic.
There’s probably no closer state in the country than Florida, with an A-rated Marist Poll posting yesterday calling the race dead even amongst registered voters at 48%-48%, and President Trump with a lead amongst likely voters 48%-47%. Unsurprisingly, 4% of Democrats and 91% of Republicans approved of the job President Trump was doing. And the Northern/Panhandle of the state had a 49% approval for the President, with the Miami/Gold Coast area at just 37%.
The latest Florida polling is from Morning Consult, which brings a big sample but a less reliable process. Taken from after the conventions, Joe Biden leads Donald Trump 49%-47% with 62 days until the election. This is a slight shift from previous events, where Biden lead 50%-45% leading into the convention, but both numbers are within the margin of error.
Despite it being one of the most important states in the election, there hasn’t been much statewide polling of the Sunshine State of late. Change Research did a poll from August 7-9 that shows Biden ahead 50%-44%, but only receives a C- grade based on past performance from FiveThirtyEight.
According to FiveThirtyEight.com, Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 6.4%, 48.9% to 42.5%. The site ranks the relative strength of each poll based on past performance, but there’s been only been one statewide poll of Florida ranked “B” or higher in the month of July (YouGov, which had Biden ahead 48%-42%). For a state that means as much as Florida, the dearth of polling so far is interesting.
And since the peninsula is a state that’s struggled with containing Covid-19 as much as any other, more recent polling is likely to be more accurate as citizens decide whom to blame and praise with their support considering the current lockdown and state of the nation.
The data that might be even more telling is at PredictIt, a site that allows a limited form of betting on elections in the United States via futures contracts. The site operates via an exemption in US law so political scientists and other academics can use the data in their research showing how the general public feels about an upcoming event or election. And for now, they show that most people think Florida will go the way of the Democrats.
All futures contracts traded on the site are based on a $1.00 outcome, but they don’t always add up to a buck because of the bid-and-ask pricing on the exchange. For example on July 22nd the Democrats led in Florida .62 cents to .40 cents based on current trading.
Below is a running tally of the closing price at PredictIt. We will update this weekly through the summer, and then more regularly in the fall as we get closer to the election.
|Date||Dem Closing Price||Rep Closing Price|
|Date||Dem Closing Price||Rep Closing Price|
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