Q&A – What Is The Top Issue For Floridian’s This Election?

Today’s entry: Brian, you said Trump polls best with people who care most about the economy and Biden does best with coronavirus concerns. What’s the top issue for Floridians right now? Knowing that would seem to be a tell as to who will win Florida.

Bottom Line: The top issue sampled by literally every pollster in Florida right now is the economy. And yes, in every poll, regardless of the sample, President Trump easily performs best on the economy. However, it’s not as simple as saying the economy is the top issue for Floridians right now and Trump wins on that issue, so he’ll win Florida. I’ll illustrate the relevant points by using FAU’s recently released polling on Florida’s top issues. 

According to FAU’s findings, the top four issues for Floridians are the economy, COVID-19, healthcare, and lastly racism/equality. While more Floridians identify the economy as the top issue over the rest there’s more to consider. Only 38% of Floridians say the economy is the top issue, the next three issues account for 46% combined and Biden leads on all of those issues. It’s odd to say that President Trump is easily favored on the most important issue for voters but is perhaps losing on the “issues” generally, but that appears to be the case. What this exercise illustrates, is how vastly different this election would be had the pandemic not happened. President Trump would likely be running away with this election rather than being in tossup territory. But the pandemic did happen, and this is the current reality President Trump faces in his reelection bid.

Over the past week, I’ve wondered if the biggest problem for President Trump contracting COVID-19, given his quick recovery, was actually the added attention to his weakest issue. It’ll be worth watching where COVID ranks as a priority over the final couple of weeks of the campaign. If it fades, even a little, it’d likely be enough for President Trump to pull out a win here and in other key swing states. If it doesn’t, the economy may not be enough on its own to get him across the finish line successfully. 

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