FAU and Mainstreet Research Florida Poll Shows Trump Holds Solid Lead Over Biden

April 16, 2024
Mainstreet Research
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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Florida Voters Continue to Lean Republican.Former U.S. President Donald Trump continues to maintain a formidable lead over incumbent President Joe Biden among Florida voters, according to the latest findings from the FAU Political Communication and Public Opinion Research Lab (PolCom Lab) in collaboration with Mainstreet Research.

The survey found that 50 percent of registered voters in Florida expressed support for Trump, while 42 percent favored Biden. Another 5 percent opted for alternative candidates, while 3 percent remained undecided. Compared with our poll in November 2023 (Trump 49 percent vs Biden 39 percent), the gap has slightly decreased.

“Despite this very marginal improvement for Biden, it seems that Florida is going to be a safe state for Trump in this election cycle,” said Dukhong Kim, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU.

Race and Gender Disparities in Voting Patterns

Gender disparities are evident, with women leaning towards Biden (46 percent) and men favoring Trump (54 percent). Meanwhile, Biden’s appeal spans older cohorts, while Trump finds stronger support among middle-aged groups. Notably, younger voters show openness to third-party candidates. Trump enjoys higher retention among 2020 supporters and stronger support from Republicans and Independents. However, Biden performs better among black voters compared to Hispanics and non-college graduate whites. These findings illuminate the complex dynamics shaping Florida’s electorate.

“If Biden wants to increase his chance of winning in Florida, he has to improve his campaign activities with the traditional Democratic party support base of women, Black, Hispanic, and younger cohorts,” said Kim.

Floridians Split on Marijuana and Abortion Amendments

The poll explored leanings on Amendment 3, proposing marijuana legalization for adults 21 and older. Results reveal a narrow margin, with 47 percent in support, 35 percent in opposition, and 18 percent undecided. Kim noted, “Age plays a salient role, with younger cohorts showing higher support (18-34: 48 percent, 35-49: 68 percent) compared to older groups (65+: 36 percent).” Partisan differences are evident, with Democratic identifiers (58 percent) more supportive than Republicans (39 percent). Racial and ethnic disparities emerge, with black voters (55 percent) more supportive than Hispanic voters (30 percent), aligning closely with white voters (approximately 50 percent).

Respondents were also asked about Amendment 4 that would allow a woman to seek an abortion up to 24 weeks or before fetal viability. Forty-nine percent of respondents were in support of the ballot initiative, which would allow a woman to seek out an abortion up to 24 weeks or before fetal viability. Nineteen percent of respondents were in opposition while 32 percent did not know whether they supported or opposed valid amendment number four.

Among women surveyed, 49 percent expressed support, with 12 percent in opposition and 39 percent undecided. Notably, black respondents exhibit the highest support proportion, with approximately 66 percent in favor. White college-educated respondents follow closely, with 55 percent supporting the initiative. A significant portion of respondents, particularly those identifying as ‘other’ (50 percent), express uncertainty, indicating a fluid situation leading up to November.

“In order for the ballot initiative to become a constitutional amendment in Florida’s Constitution 60 percent of voters need to be in agreement since the rules for a constitutional amendment were changed by the Florida Legislature in 2006.” says Dr. Luzmarina Garcia, assistant professor of political science at FAU. “The results point to a 11 percent gain that needs to happen between now and November 5th for the ballot initiative to pass.”

“Since almost a third of respondents do not know how they would vote if faced with the ballot initiative, this means that it could go either way come November,” Garcia added.

Ron DeSantis’ Approval Rebounds and Casey DeSantis Polls Well Early On

Governor DeSantis rebounded to pre-presidential race approval among Floridians, with 54 percent of Republicans expressing approval of his governance, which was his approval rating in July, 2023 according to an earlier FAU poll. In November, with the Presidential primaries looming, he dipped to 50 percent.

Gubernatorial speculation increases with early chatter of gubernatorial contenders. Head to head, 38 percent of Republican voters voiced preference for Casey DeSantis over Matt Gaetz in a hypothetical primary matchup.

“There is clear interest among Republican voters in seeing Casey DeSantis run for governor in 2026,” said FAU Political Science Professor Kevin Wagner. “This poll also suggests that the race is still open for new candidates to emerge over the next couple of years.”

Issues that Matter to Floridians Vary by Party Affiliation and Voter Engagement

Immigration emerged as the most pressing issue for 25 percent of respondents, followed closely by the economy (23 percent), cost of living (15 percent), and abortion (13 percent). Republicans prioritize immigration (40 percent), while Democrats focus more on abortion (25 percent).

Dr. Aaron Veenstra, associate professor of journalism at Florida Atlantic University notes, “Partisan differences on immigration and abortion reflect campaign priorities not only of their presidential nominees, but Republican state officials in Florida as well.”

Older respondents, more aligned with parties, show greater concern for these issues. However, non-voters in 2020 prioritize economic and cost of living concerns over immigration and abortion. Black and Hispanic respondents prioritize the economy, while white college grads and non-college respondents prioritize immigration.

“Although partisans put significant value on these issues at the center of campaign strategy, those who didn’t vote in 2020 ranked them much lower compared with economic concerns and the cost of living in Florida, ” said Veenstra.  Black and Hispanic respondents each ranked the economy as the most important issue, while white college grads ranked immigration well ahead of other issues. White non-college respondents also put immigration first but with the economy close behind (27 percent to 25 percent).

The poll was conducted from Monday, April 15th to Wednesday, April 17th, 2024, among a sample of 865 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in Florida. The survey was conducted using text message recruitment and IVR to complete the survey. Since the text messages were sent to random registered Florida voters the poll can be assigned a margin of error. The survey is intended to represent the voting population in Florida. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Margins of error are higher in each subsample.

– FAU –

About Florida Atlantic University PolCom Lab The Florida Atlantic University Department of Political Science and the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, in collaboration with Mainstreet Research, established the PolCom Lab to investigate and analyze public opinion and political trends across the nation, and particularly in the state of Florida.

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across six campuses located along the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and outpaced its peers in student achievement rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps vanish. FAU is designated a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked as a top public university by U.S. News & World Report and a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

About Mainstreet Research

Founded in 2010, Mainstreet Research is recognized as one of Canada’s top public opinion and market research firms. Since our founding, we have been providing actionable and data-driven insights to our clients to help them make their most important evidence-based strategic decisions. Mainstreet Research is a proud corporate member of CRIC and exceeds all Canadian and international standards for market research and public opinion research.

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