(CNN) — Poll of the week: A new CNN / SSRS poll reveals former Vice President Joe Biden is leading the intention to vote ahead of the November elections in the state of Florida with 51% vs. 46% of President Donald Trump among voters registered.
The CNN poll comes after another from Quinnipiac University released earlier this week that showed Biden with a 51% lead over Trump’s 38%.
What is the point? Trump has not led a single poll in Florida since early March.
The fact that polls in Florida favor Biden should be one of the biggest warning signs for the fledgling Trump campaign. Yes, we still have 100 days left, and history suggests that the gap in Florida may close.
Still, Florida is probably the state that most closely meets Trump’s “must win” definition if he wants to be elected to a second term, and is losing.
No Republican has won the presidency without Florida since Calvin Coolidge in 1924.
It is also a state that leans a little to the right of the country. The last time the state voted more Democratic than the country overall in a presidential election was in 1976. The fact that Trump is here 8 points below average in high-quality polls since June 1 suggests that it has dropped significantly. at the national level.
Biden, on the other hand, has a clear path to get 270 electoral votes without Florida. Biden has been 6-12 points clear in polls released this week from Michigan and Pennsylvania. This includes 6-point and 12-point leads in Michigan according to CBS News / YouGov and CNN / SSRS polls, respectively, released on Sunday. High-quality polls in June gave Biden an average 10-point lead in Wisconsin. If Biden adds all of those states to her column plus the 232 electoral votes of the states that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, she gets 278 electoral votes.
Winning Florida would give Biden plenty of support options since he is worth 29 electoral votes. If Biden adds Florida’s 29 electoral votes to the states Clinton obtained in 2016, she gets 261 electoral votes. Biden would need only 9 more electoral votes to obtain a majority of the electoral college. You could add any other state that Trump won in 2016 by 9.0 points or less.
As I pointed out a few months ago, Florida is geographically and demographically diverse from the states of the Great Lakes region that are battlegrounds. If Biden stumbles across most of the region’s changing states, it could possibly cling to Florida and add the diverse state of Arizona. Biden has been consistently ahead of Trump in Arizona, and was up 4 and 5 points in the latest CNN / SSRS and NBC News / Marist College polls on Sunday.
Additionally, Biden could win one of those Great Lakes and Florida battlefield states to garner 270 electoral votes. Biden could, for example, add Michigan (16 electoral votes) to his column and that would be enough. Biden has held the lead in all nonpartisan polls in Michigan since early March.
Perhaps just as important to Democrats, polls in Florida have generally been accurate at the end of the campaign. There has been no mistake like the one in the Great Lakes in 2016. CNN’s Florida final polls have been in the 3-point margin of the result in every presidential election since 2008. The same applies to the governor’s and of the Senate in 2018.
With a lead as broad as Biden’s now in the sunshine state, the accuracy of past polls from the past suggests he really is ahead right now.
The good news for Trump is that history indicates how difficult it would be for Biden to win the state by a wide margin. The last time a Democrat won the state by more than 6 points was in 1948. No candidate from either party has won the state by more than 6 points since 1992.
(That’s an even longer streak of close elections than Ohio’s barometer state. Unlike Florida, Ohio is no longer a barometer state as indicated by Trump’s 1-point lead in the CBS News / YouGov poll on Sunday, Biden rose 10 points in a national CBS News / YouGov poll also released Sunday.)
Overall, the point is that we shouldn’t be surprised if the margin in Florida gets narrower on the stretch. That is exactly what happened in the 2018 midterm elections, when Republican candidates for governor and for the Senate won victories by less than one point.
But for now, Florida is an iconic sign of the biggest challenges facing Trump. It has been a state devastated by the coronavirus, which has almost certainly contributed to Trump’s problems there.
As I have said many times before, Trump is unlikely to win if he fails to turn around his low approval ratings for coronavirus management. His approval rating in Florida on the subject is only 42% among voters registered in the latest CNN poll.
If that were the case until Election Day, Biden would likely be the next president.