(Getty/Mark Wilson)

Donald Trump trails Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in Florida

The poll was released hours before Trump was set to formally launch his re-election bid in Florida


Shira Tarlo
June 18, 2019 9:10PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump trails former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Florida, according to a new poll released hours before the commander in chief is set to formally launch his re-election bid in the Sunshine State.

Trump trails Biden by 9% and Sanders by 6%, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday. Match-ups between the president and other leading Democratic presidential contenders are "too close to call," the poll noted.

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"Florida Republicans have won the last major statewide elections, all by very close margins, but Sunshine State Democrats see these very early numbers as a sign that their losing streak might be coming to an end," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement, adding that Trump "basically ties other leading Democratic challengers."

Trump has a deeply personal connection to Florida, his second home state, which he won in the 2016 presidential election with approximately 112,000 votes — a mere 1.2% over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. He owns three golf clubs in the Sunshine State and has referred to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach as the "Winter White House" since assuming office. He regularly visits his exclusive golf resort on weekends to spend time with his children, including his 13-year-old son Barron, or to play rounds of golf with celebrities, professional athletes, current and former members of Congress and the occasional foreign leader. (Trump, a golf lover and owner of more than a dozen courses across the country, has played the sport at least 187 times over his 879 days in office, according to the website TrumpGolfCount.)

Still, a majority of Florida voters, 51%, disapprove of Trump's job performance as president, while 44% approve, according to the poll. Roughly 54% of Floridians, however, said they were better off financially today than they were in 2016, according to the survey.

The results of the Quinnipiac University come less than a week after a poll from Trump's own campaign, which showed unfavorable numbers for the president in several key battleground states, was leaked to the press. The 17-state survey, conducted by the Trump campaign's lead pollster Tony Fabrizio between March 13 and March 28, revealed Trump trails Biden by double-digits across swing states seen as crucial to his re-election victory and in Democratic-leaning states where Republicans have sought to gain momentum.  It also showed Trump underperforming in reliably red states that have not been competitive for decades in presidential elections.

Trump's re-election campaign fired three of its five pollsters in the wake of the leak.

Trump has angrily denied coverage of the numbers in recent days, telling ABC News in an interview broadcast last week, "Those polls don't exist. I just had a meeting with somebody that's a pollster, and I'm winning everywhere, so I just don't know what you're talking about."

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He also tweeted that his numbers are "the best numbers WE have ever had," and claimed the numbers reported were from "Fake Polling."

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,279 Florida voters between June 12 and June 17 using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. It includes 417 registered Democrats with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8 percentage points.


Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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