St. Leo University poll shows tight race in Florida between Trump, Biden

President Trump reacts as former Vice President Biden says unprecedented severe weather is caused by climate change during their debate in Cleveland. Credit: screenshot, MSNBC

Democrat Joe Biden leads President Trump by six points among likely Florida voters in a St. Leo University poll released Wednesday, with 49.9 percent preferring Biden and 43.9 percent the president.

However, given that 4.9 percent of respondents in the state were unsure whom to support, “that makes the Florida results practically tied between the current president and former vice president,” St. Leo’s Polling Institute said in describing the results.

Nationally, the poll showed Biden with a nearly 14-point lead, with 52.1 percent of likely voters preferring Biden and 38.3 percent for Trump, with 5.8 of respondents unsure.

The institute queried 1,000 people nationally and 500 in Florida between Sept. 27 and Oct. 2, completing the survey before the announcement of Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. The institute put the margin for error at 3 percent regarding the national findings.

Polls generally have suggested an intensely close race in Florida.

The institute also queried respondents about for whom they would vote if the vice-presidential candidates, Democrat Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence, who were scheduled to debate each other Wednesday night, were at the top of the tickets.

Nationally, Harris outstripped Pence, 48.3 percent to 41.5 percent, with 10.1 undecided. In Florida, Pence led by a single decimal point — 46.8 percent compared to 46.7 percent for Harris, with 6.5 percent unsure.

“The sample is drawn from large online panels, which allow for random selections that reflect accurate cross sections of all demographic groups,” the institute said. “Online methodology has the additional advantage of allowing participants to respond to the survey at a time, place, and speed that is convenient to them, which may result in more thoughtful answers.”