Latino, New Voters Help Fuel Trump’s Dominance; Many Are “Trump OR Bust”
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead over Joe Biden in the latest Florida Poll conducted by BIG DATA POLL for August. Meanwhile, Republican and independent voters’ loyalties to the former president are making a hypothetical matchup between the sitting governor and the president too close to call.
The Sunshine State Poll conducted in the final days of August finds the former president leads the sitting president 45.0% to 36.7%. With Cornel West, Trump leads by a slightly larger margin, 45.5% to 36.8%. President Biden fares better against Governor DeSantis. The two are in a statistical tie at 37.8% to 37.5%, respectively. With West, Biden and DeSantis are tied exactly at 37.3%.
“The disparity between Trump and DeSantis in performance against Biden is almost exclusively due to the former president’s supporters saying that they would write-in his name if he was not the nominee,” BIG DATA POLL Director Rich Baris, said. “Roughly 3 in 10 of Trump’s primary supporters indicated that and 93% to 95% of write-ins chose him in the two hypothetical matchups.”
“We’ve been measuring the ‘Trump OR Bust’ vote across the country for months, and it is clearly a force even in the governor’s own home state.”
As a result, Trump outperforms DeSantis among pivotal demographic groups needed to win the largest battleground state in the nation at the presidential level. In 2022, the governor won re-election by an overwhelming 19-point margin, but these contests are poor indicators of performance at the presidential level for myriad reasons and voter sentiment has shifted considerably.
That being said, there are also major shifts among key voting blocs that support Biden over Trump in 2020, to include Hispanic and new voters.
When asked, Hispanics who voted in 2020 indicated they supported Biden, but now support Trump by a 14-point margin, 46.5% to 32.8%. Similarly, “new voters” backed Biden by 5 points in 2020, 52% to 47%, but now back Trump by 8 points for 2024. In other words, Trump is already outperforming his 2020 vote share with these groups, while Biden is significantly underperforming.
“It’s been over a decade since I began publicly polling the great state of Florida, and I’ve never seen a presidential election lead this large,” Director Baris, added. “We have always been extremely conservative in our estimates and a 3-point contest such as in 2020 is historically considered a comfortable margin.”
“Make no mistake. This is a very significant poll result given how razor close the state is at the presidential level.”
The Sunshine State Poll also asked eligible primary voters about their primary preference for president. Trump held a widening lead over DeSantis, 56.8% to 18.1%, up from the 52.5% to 32.6% margin in June.
BIG DATA POLL BOASTS UNPARALLELED SUCCESS IN FLORIDA
In 2016, the final poll conducted by BIG DATA POLL found Trump leading Hillary Clinton by 1.4%, just 0.2% from the actual result. In 2018, BIG DATA POLL was one of only two polling firms to correctly project victories for then-Governor and now-Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla., over then-incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., as well as now-Governor Ron DeSantis over Democrat Andrew Gillum. In 2020, the Sunshine State Poll conducted in September found Trump leading Biden by just under 2.6%, less than a point off the 3.3% final margin.
BIG DATA POLL interviewed 1,419 registered voters in Florida from August 27 to August 28, 2023, via mixed-mode to include 1,316 likely voters, who were screened by self-reported likelihood to vote and vote history. Interviews conducted online are sourced through Lucid (CINT) and phone interviews including P2P SMS and text-to-online are sourced from the Aristotle National Voter File Database. Likely primary voters were screened for eligibility by registration and intent due to Florida’s closed primary system. Results were weighted for gender, age, race, education, and region. The overall sampling error is +/- 2.7% at a 95% confidence interval. The sampling errors for the Republican and Democratic Presidential Nominations are +/- 3.8% and +/- 4.1% at a 95% confidence interval, respectively. It is important to note that sampling errors for subgroups are higher. All BIG DATA POLL publicly conducted surveys are crowdfunded via the Public Polling Project, supplemented if necessary by BIG DATA POLL and are NOT funded by or affiliated with any candidate, campaign, committee, or political entity. Full and interactive crosstabs can be viewed on MarketSight.
Worth noting, the national exit polls conducted by Edison Research combine North Central Florida (10%) and the Panhandle (8%) into North/Panhandle. BIG DATA POLL has long separated the two regions to ensure more accurate representation due to higher participation rates in higher population centers and metro areas.
- Panhandle: Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla, Washington
- North Central Florida: Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns, Volusia
- Orlando / Atlantic Coast: Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie
- Tampa Bay Area: Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough
- Southeast / Gold Coast: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach
- Southwest Gulf Mid-Florida: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Sarasota, Monroe, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee, Polk