Florida voters are deadlocked as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton and her GOP rival Donald J. Trump each have the support of 46 percent of the electorate, according to the Oct. 4 Breitbart News Network/Gravis Marketing poll of 821 registered voters in the Sunshine State.
Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell told Breitbart News the election is still very much in flux in 2016.
“The race between Clinton and Trump is very unstable,” he said.
Caddell said to better measure the mood of the voters, the presidential preference was asked twice. The first time was in the middle of the survey after a series of general political questions mostly about favorability. The second was later in the survey after asking more issue-focused questions before asking demographic questions at the end.
“Then, after finishing the survey with a number of attitudinal questions, the respondents were asked again, giving us the 46 percent-to-46 percent tie,” he said.
“Clearly, when we get into some of these policy issues, such as the economy, trade, and increasingly bringing in more refugees–when people focus on these issues, they find themselves agreeing with Trump and not agreeing with Clinton,” he said.
“It is so important to remember, the voters, the people are not settled like the pundits or the candidates are settled,” Caddell said. “Certainly, it is true in Florida.”
“Our poll confirms that Florida is the still one of the tightest races between Clinton and Trump,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based polling company that conducted the poll. The poll carries a 3.4 percent margin of error with a 95 percent level of confidence. That margin of error means that even when looking at the survey’s first asking on the presidential preference question, it’s still a statistical tie.
“With the race within the margin of error, it could still break one way or the other,” Kaplan said. “Florida was the closest finish in 2012 and it could go that way in 2016.”
Florida has 29 votes in the Electoral College, critical to either Clinton’s or Trump’s path to the White House.
In the 2012 campaign, President Barack Obama beat his GOP rival Mitt Romney by less than 74,305 votes with a finish of 50 percent to Romney’s 49 percent.
In this Breitbart/Gravis poll, Libertarian Gary Johnson has the support of two percent of the electorate and Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein has one percent.
Clinton leads with 55 percent of women voters to Trump’s 39 percent.
Trump leads with 53 percent of male voters to Clinton’s 38 percent.
Inside their own parties, both have consolidated support.
Eighty-seven percent of Democrats support Clinton, while only seven percent of Republicans back her. Trump has the support of 81 percent of Republicans with 10 percent of Democrats.
A source familiar with the Republican National Committee’s get-out-the-vote effort in Florida told Breitbart News the party is working hand-in-glove with the Trump campaign.
The source said the party rebuilt its GOTV organization in 2013 based on lessons learned from 2012 and has devoted resources to a “permanent ground game” in key battleground states, such at Florida.
“Republicans in Florida have requested more than 335,000 absentee ballots than they did in 2012,” the source said. “That is a 84,435 advantage over what the Democrats have requested.”
The Florida Senate race is also very close. Former presidential candidate Republican Sen. Marco Rubio holds a small lead just outside the margin of error over his Democratic challenger Rep. Patrick Murphy. Rubio is at 44 percent of the electorate, while Murphy is at 40 percent. Rubio’s tight lead should be considered in the context of the 16 percent of respondents who said they were unsure.
Another clue to how the electorate will break in November is the favorability opinions. Twenty-five percent have a strongly unfavorable opinion of the congressman with 13 percent have a strongly favorable opinion. With Rubio, meanwhile, 44 percent of the electorate has a strongly unfavorable opinion of him compared to 19 percent with a strongly favorable opinion.
Caddell said Rubio’s high unfavorables combined with the 16 percent undecided cannot be ignored.
“I don’t know about the individual dynamics of that race, but it is fascinating to me,” he said.
“Rubio’s lead is there, but that race is not over despite what everyone is saying.”
The poll was conducted Oct. 4 with random automated phone calls, and results were weighted to match a proprietary turnout model.