New Polls Show Tight Race in Crucial Swing State Florida

By Steven Klett, Epoch Times
October 26, 2016 Updated: October 26, 2016

Two weeks ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election, the race in Florida between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is looking to be as close as any other recent election cycle. 

A poll by the Selzer & Company run by the Des Moines pollster J. Ann Selzer released on October 26 and taken between October 20-24 shows Trump leading Clinton by 2 percent—45 percent to 43 percent. 

Another poll taken by SurveyUSA around the same time as the Selzer & Company poll shows Clinton leading by 3 percent—48 percent to 45.

Both polls are within the margin of error, although the Selzer poll shows Trump gaining steam after Clinton dominated the polls in the state through October. 

Trump’s surge in the polls comes as the Republican nominee has made a blitz in the state, hosting rallies in a number of Florida locations between October 24 and 25.

Hillary Clinton made a stop in the state on October 25 as well, hosting a rally in Coconut Creek. Early voting started in the state on October 24. 

The state has been a focal point of the every election cycle since the recount during the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush which decided the election.

Bush eventually won the recount by 537 votes after a Supreme Court decision stopped the count on December 12, 2000, over a month after the election took place. 

In 2004, Bush won the state again against Kerry—51 percent to 47 percent; in 2008, Obama won the state by a similar margin as Bush did in 2004—51 percent to 48 percent; in 2012 Obama barely inched out a win against Romney, with the Democrat winning by less than a percentage point—50.01 percent to 49.13 percent. 

The state has long been considered a cultural battleground between the rural northern part of the state and the more urban minority-rich southern part of the state which has a large Cuban population.

Florida is split along geographic and racial differences.  

As the Selzer & Company poll shows, rural residents in Florida prefer Trump over Clinton by 31 points, while the Democrat performed strong among voters in the Miami area, who favored her by 30 points. 

Indicative of her support in the southern regions of the state, she also lead among non-white voters who favored her by 33 percent. 

In the Senate race, incumbent Marco Rubio—who initially pledged not to run, but reversed that decision in June—shows a 10 percent advantage over Democratic challenger Rep. Patrick Murphy, 51 percent to 41 percent.

President Obama has also been to the state to campaign for Clinton. On October 20 he held a rally in Miami and has another rally scheduled for October 28 at the University of Central Florida.