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'Down to the wire:' UNF survey shows a single point difference between presidential candidates with election two weeks away

The Public Opinion Research Lab poll shows former Vice-President Joe Biden with a 1% advantage over President Donald Trump among respondents.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Political observers widely agree neither President Donald Trump nor former Vice-President Joe Biden can win the White House without winning Florida this year. Neither should be relieved by the results of a recent survey that shows the margin between them is razor-thin in the Sunshine State.

The poll, by the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab shows Biden leading by just one point in a 48-47% toss-up. That’s well below the survey’s margin of error, which is plus or minus 3.3%.

“While some polls have shown Biden with a big lead in Florida and other key states, we made an effort to capture hard-to-reach voters and our results suggest that it might be a long night on November 3rd,” said Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and associate professor of political science. “This is Florida, and elections are never easy here, I expect this race to come down to the wire.”

The poll showed President Trump’s job approval is polarized but closely split. Among likely voters, 47% approve of his performance, while 49% disapprove. 

Just a quarter of those surveyed said they plan to vote in person on election day, with 29% saying they’d go early to vote. Forty-three percent said they would vote by mail with 25% saying they’ve already sent in their ballot.   

“It is extremely important to remember that, with the increased use of mail-in ballots across the country and some competitive states in the Midwest not allowed to start counting their mail ballots until Election Day, we might not know the winner of the election for a few days – and that is just fine,” Binder said. “It does not mean there is anything improper occurring that would threaten the integrity of the electoral process.”

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