KEY POINTS

  • Trump leads Biden, 50% to 47%, among 50-plus voters in Florida, a new poll shows
  • Voters aged 50-plus comprised 64% of all Florida voters in 2018 and 57% in 2016
  • Floridian voters 50-plus favor voting by mail over early voting or voting in person 

A new poll shows President Donald Trump leading Joe Biden among Florida voters in the 50-and-over age group, a key voting bloc that accounted for 56% of votes cast in 2016 nationally.

Older voters in the Sunshine State have swung toward Trump, 50% to 47%, according to a poll commissioned by the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons).

The same poll shows Biden with a 48% to 46% edge over Trump among all Floridian voters. The poll's margin of error is 2.5 points, showing a statistical tie in the key swing state heading into the Nov. 3 election.

“We believe 50-plus voters are going to play a critical role in this year’s election,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice-president and chief advocacy and engagement officer.

According to LeaMond, Americans 50-and-over comprise 45% of the voting population but accounted for 56% of the ballots cast in the 2016 general election that saw Trump win the presidency. Trump won the popular vote in Florida by 1.2% over Hillary Clinton.

“They punch above their weight,” she said.

AARP said 50-plus residents represented 64% of all Florida voters in 2018 and 57% in 2016. It added that the poll results show this voting bloc isn't a lock for either candidate or major party.

The poll also found Trump enjoys a slight lead among the elderly on how he is managing the COVID-19 pandemic. It shows 50% strongly or somewhat favor Trump's handling of the pandemic compared to 48% with the opposite view.

At the same time, elderly voters that strongly oppose Trump's pandemic handling outnumber those that strongly favor his performance, 45% to 39%.

“Candidates who want to win in 2020 must talk about the issues that matter to voters 50 and over –- like voting safely from home or in-person, preventing cuts to Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug prices,” said AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson.

“Most importantly, Floridians are casting their ballots earlier than ever and candidates need to address their concerns now.”

Other key findings of the AARP poll:

* Biden leads Trump among all voters aged 18 or older by 2%, within the margin of error.

* Biden’s support is strongest among voters aged 18 to 49. Biden leads Trump among this demographic by 8 points, 49% to 41%.

* Trump is strongest among voters aged 50 to 64; he tops Biden 52% to 45%.

* Biden and Trump are tied among voters aged 65-plus: 49% for Biden and 48% for Trump.

* Voters 50-plus favor voting by mail over early voting or voting in person at traditional polling places. The poll shows 36% plan to vote by mail; 27% plan to vote in person at early-voting sites while 33% will do so in person on Election Day.

The telephone poll was conducted Aug. 28-Sept. 8 by market research firm the Benenson Strategy Group and public relations and research firm GS Strategy Group. It involved 1,600 voters in six presidential battleground states, including Florida.

The Villages retirement community in Florida is beset by sharp political divisions -- here a resident rides in a golf cart to celebrate Joe Biden's nomination as Democratic presidential candidate, but not all her fellow seniors agree The Villages retirement community in Florida is beset by sharp political divisions -- here a resident rides in a golf cart to celebrate Joe Biden's nomination as Democratic presidential candidate, but not all her fellow seniors agree Photo: AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA