With just over a month until the election, Florida and Arizona are emerging as battleground states that are neck-and-neck for President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden.
For the first time in 2020, Trump has a slight lead in Florida, according to the Washington Post-ABC News poll. Among participants who said they are likely voters, Trump leads 51-to-47 percent, however this is considered within the margin of error.
The poll points out Biden has a 13-point lead among Hispanic registered voters in Florida; four years ago, Hillary Clinton had a 27-point lead among Hispanics and still lost the state.
In Arizona, among likely voters, the poll shows Trump and Biden at 49-to-48 percent. Arizona has voted for the Republican presidential candidate for every election since 1952 except once, the re-election of Bill Clinton in 1996.
Researchers of this poll note that these percentages are so close the difference is not statistically significant. The margin of sampling error is 4 points among Florida results and 4.5 points among Arizona results.
Trump won Florida and Arizona in the last election. In Arizona, Trump won in 2016 by about 90,000 votes. In Florida, Trump won by just over 100,000 votes.
When it comes to the issues, Trump gets credit for being trusted to handle the economy, despite the current pandemic-fueled recession. In Florida, registered voters in the survey said they trusted Trump with the economy over Biden 52-to-41 percent. In Arizona, the spread is higher, with registered voters preferring Trump 56-to-41 percent.
The economy appears to be the top issue for many this election cycle. About 31 percent of registered voters in Florida said the economy is the single most important issue, and 33 percent of those in Arizona.
In handling the coronavirus pandemic, more registered voters trust Biden over Trump, with 48-to-43 percent in Florida and 49-to-45 percent in Arizona. In both states, 57 percent of participants said they were worried about catching the coronavirus.
Biden also leads in handling health care, crime and safety, discouraging violence at political protests, and equal treatment of racial groups.
Trump’s overall approval rating among registered voters is 47 percent in both states.
There is also a big split in how voters of different parties plan to vote on Election Day. In both Florida and Arizona, more than 70 percent of registered Republicans plan on voting in-person on Election Day. Democratic participants are more likely to vote early or absentee/mail-in, more than 60 percent.
This latest poll was conducted by landline and cell phone interviews between September 15-20 among 765 registered Florida voters and 701 registered Arizona voters.