A respected state pollster who correctly predicted Donald Trump‘s 2016 win in Florida has projected that the president will take the state again this year, and perhaps even by a wider margin
FOX 13 pollster Matt Towery went on air five days before Election Day in 2016 and predicted that Trump would win Florida. Trump did win Florida by 1.2 percentage points with a plurality of 49 percent of the popular vote over Hillary Clinton‘s 47.8 percent.
As Americans prepare to vote on November 3, Towery has predicted another close victory for Trump in Florida this year. “My final projection for Florida is Donald Trump will carry the state by at least a point, maybe a little better than he did last time—maybe even getting closer to two points,” he said, according to Fox 13.
Towery explained that his prediction relies on several factors: the similarity in polling compared to 2016, the president’s successes in Miami compared to 2016 and growing enthusiasm for his reelection campaign among Latino and African Americans in the state.
“I might add one of the reasons Trump is performing better than many expected in Florida is we’re seeing him do better with Hispanic Latino populations than we expected. That’s one,” Towery said. “The other is African American. In almost every state we polled, the African American vote is hitting at minimum 15%. I’ve never seen that in all the years I’ve polled.”
Towery also believes that Trump will take Iowa, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Arizona. However, he declined to offer a prediction for the candidate that will take the electoral college and White House.
Political analysts have indicated a close race in Florida, a state that many have called a must-win to take the Oval Office. Trump appears to have the support of white men and rural voters, while Biden is expected to draw strong support among women and African Americans.
Biden is still leading Trump in most statewide polls. However, the margin has narrowed in recent weeks. On October 13, Trump trailed Biden by an average of 4.5 percentage points in the state, according to polling data maintained by FiveThirtyEight. That margin closed to 2.5 percentage points on the evening before November 3.
Florida’s two week early voting window closed on Sunday with roughly 8.97 ballots cast in the state. The figure was close to the 9.5 million overall ballots cast in 2016. Democrats accounted for 39 percent of the early votes, Republicans 38 percent and independents 21.5 percent.
Newsweek reached out to the Biden campaign for comment.