On May 3, 2016, after winning the Republican presidential primary in Indiana, Donald Trump became the presumptive presidential nominee of the Republican Party when his two main opponents, Ted Cruz and John Kaisch, dropped out from the race.
Since the third of May of this year, when polling organizations have asked people in surveys who they would vote for if the American presidential election were held today, Donald Trump has always been the person representing the Republican Party.
Before 05/03/2016, this was not always the case and respondents had a variety of Republicans to choose from in hypothetical contests between the nominee of the Democratic Party whether it was Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
One thing that has happened since the Indiana Republican presidential primary is that Trump’s support has increased in a variety of state polls. The state of Florida is just one such example. The last poll taken before May 3 was done by Associated Industries of Florida (604 likely voters, margin of error 5 percentage points, report here) on April 27 and its results showed Clinton defeating Trump by a margin of 49%-36%.
The next poll taken in Florida, taken after the Indiana Republican presidential primary after Cruz and Kaisch drop out of the race, is a May 8 survey done by Quinnipiac (1,051 registered voters, margin of error 3 percentage points, results here) that showed Trump’s support increasing to 42% and Clinton dropping to 43%.
While interesting to note that Trump’s level of support in Florida climbing by 6 percentage points before and after the Indiana Republican presidential primary, it is also worth noting that in the three surveys taken since the Quinnipiac poll, his support has stayed constant at 42%.
A May 18 poll by Gravis (2,542 registered voters, margin of error 2 percentage points, report here) had Trump at 42%, but Clinton at 46% (+3 percentage points from the Quinnipiac poll).
A May 19 survey from CBS News/YouGov (995 likely voters, margin of error 4 percentage points, results here) had Trump again at 42%, but Clinton won the survey (barely) with 43% (same level of support as the Quinnipiac survey).
The latest poll representing the presidential preferences of the citizens of Florida comes from Mason-Dixon (625 likely voters, margin of error 4 percentage points, results here) and it shows Trump at (you guessed it) 42% and Clinton at 45% (a gain of 2 percentage points from the post-Indiana Quinnipiac poll).
Comparing the early May Quinnipiac survey to the early June results from Mason-Dixon provides some insight as to why the needle has not moved for Trump since the post-Indiana bump…and perhaps why Clinton has seen a slight bump in her support.
Let’s look at five things: favorability, gender, party identification, race, and age.
In the Quinnipiac poll from the previous month, both presidential candidate were greatly disliked. Both Trump and Clinton had a favorability rating of -20% (both candidates received responses of 37% favorable versus 57% unfavorable). A month later, in the Mason-Dixon survey, Trump’s favorability rating inched down to -22% (31% favorable versus 53% unfavorable). Meanwhile, Clinton saw her favorability rating in Florida jumped up to -6% (41% favorable to 47% unfavorable).
Not sure why, but within a month, Florida voters have warmed to the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party while remaining the same (even cooling) to the presidential nominee of the Republican Party.
The male voters of Florida, in the Quinnipiac survey, lean towards Trump by a margin of 49%-36% (+13 percentage points). Female Florida voters, in May, threw their support to Clinton by a margin of 48%-35% (+13 percentage points). Since both candidates won their genders by the same margin, the Quinnipiac poll shows no gender gap. In June, the Mason-Dixon survey, Trump share of the men’s vote increased to 52%-34% (+18 percentage points), but Clinton’s share of the female vote increased to 55%-33% (+22 percentage points). The gender gap in the Mason-Dixon poll skews towards Clinton by four percentage points.
Not sure why, but within a month, the two genders of Florida’s electorate have increased their separation towards their respective candidates, but they have increased their leaning towards the female candidate even more.
In May, Independent voters told Quinnipiac that 39% of them would support Trump and 39% of them would support Clinton. In June, Independent voters told Mason-Dixon that 40% would support Trump and 34% would support Clinton.
Not sure why, but within a month, those respondents who claimed allegiance to neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party, threw their support to Trump and away from Clinton.
From the Quinnipiac May survey comes this line, “White voters go Republican 52-33 percent, while non-white voters go Democratic 63-20 percent.” From the Mason-Dixon June survey, the results table shows that White voters went for Trump 55%-31%, an increase of 3 percentage points for the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, and that non-white voters support Clinton by a margin of 76%-13%, an increase of 13 percentage points for the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
Not sure why, but within a month, African-American and Hispanic voters in Florida drove up their support for Clinton while White voters slightly increased their support for Trump.
Young voters (between the ages of 18-34) supported Clinton in May by a margin of 49%-27% (+22 percentage points). In May, older voters (age 65 and older) supported Trump by a margin of 50%-37% (+13 percentage points). A month later, the 18-34 bracket go for the Democratic Party 53%-26% (+27 percentage points) and the 65-and-up group go for the Republican Party 51%-44% (+7 percentage points).
Not sure why, but within a month, those voters between the age of 18-34 increased their support for Clinton, while Trump saw his support among those 65 and older erode slightly (although he still retained a majority of that demographic).
I would also like to note for the record that from January to early May, Real Clear Politics documents five surveys (list here) taken in the state of Florida that asked people their choice in a hypothetical Trump-Clinton presidential race. In three of those surveys, Trump wins with levels of support of 47%, 46%, and 45%. He loses two of those races while still earning support levels of 43% and 41%. For those five surveys, his average level of support has been 44.4%.
The four surveys taken after the Indiana Republican presidential primary all show Trump with a level of support at 42%. Rather than seeing Florida voters coalescing around the Republican Party nominee, the case appears (for the moment) that his support has slightly eroded and topped off.
As always, we’ll see what the next survey brings.