Q&A – What’s the top issue on the minds of Floridian’s as we vote?


Q&A of the Day – What’s the top issue on the minds of Floridian’s as we vote?

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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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 sample, President Trump easily performs best on the economy. There’s a but, 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...

  1. Economy
  2. COVID-19
  3. Healthcare
  4. Racism/Equality

While more Floridians identify the economy as the top issue over all others, and President Trump is preferred 80% to 16% by those voters, 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 past week I’ve wondered (out loud) if the biggest problem for President Trump contracting COVID-19, given his quick recovery, was actually the added attention on 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 likely 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. I’ll keep you posted.