As Florida begins early voting, election polls give Joe Biden a slight edge over Donald Trump in key state

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Early voting begins Monday in Florida, with polls giving Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden a slight lead over President Donald Trump in the state. This can prove crucial in deciding the outcome of the Electoral College.

Florida has 29 Electoral College votes, making it a major coup in the race to 270. Early voting runs Oct. 19 through Nov. 1.

Trump won the state in 2016, beating then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by about 1.2% with some 112,000 more votes.

However, the state has changed steadily in recent presidential elections, with Barack Obama winning there in 2008 and 2012, and George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Since 1964, the state has voted for the winner of every presidential election except 1992.

Polls ahead of Nov. 3 show a close race between Trump and Biden, with the latter taking a slight advantage.

The Real Clear Politics tracker moves Biden up 1.4 points, averaging 48.2% of the vote to Trump’s 46.8.

Some of the recent polls in the state put the pair even.

The Survey Monkey poll of 14,126 likely voters in the state from Sept. 20 to Oct. 17 puts them each on 49% of the vote.

While a hill/ The Harris X poll, among 965 likely voters polled online Oct. 12-15, put the pair at 48% each.

However, amid those tied results, other polls showed voters slightly in favor of Biden.

A Mason-Dixon poll boosted Biden by three points, with 48% of 625 registered voters polled by phone Oct. 8-12 for him, compared to 45% for Trump. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Of 653 likely voters polled Oct. 7-14 by Ipsos, 49% said they supported Biden more than 47% for Trump. That gives Biden a 2-point advantage, even though the margin of error was plus or minus 4.6%.

On the other hand, Trafalgar Group polls among 1,051 likely voters polled Oct. 11-13 gave Trump a slight edge.

Of those polled, 48.4% intended to vote for Trump. Biden garnered support from 46.1% of those polled. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.94%.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump and Biden campaigns for comment on the state of play in Florida.

Large numbers in Florida have already returned absentee ballots, with more than 2 million sent out according to the state’s Division of Elections website.

The Biden campaign has previously expressed its focus on the state, telling those involved in the Democrat’s candidacy to ‘campaign like we’re falling behind,’ according to a New York Times report.

Wearing a face mask to reduce the risk posed by the coronavirus, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden points to supporters during a voter mobilization event at Miramar Regional Park on October 13, 2020 in Miramar, Florida. Polls put the state in a close race, although it gave Biden a slight edge over President Donald Trump.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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