As VP candidates Pence and Harris head into debate tonight, national results say the race would be neck and neck if they were the presidential choices

Trump-Pence team polls somewhat better in Florida than nationally

ST. LEO, FL – A new national survey conducted by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute ( revealed Democrat Joe Biden is leading President Donald J. Trump, with 52.1 percent of the likely voters polled saying they have voted or would vote for Biden if the presidential election was held that day, compared to 38.3 percent who selected President Trump. Another 5.8 percent were unsure, and the remaining balance simply did not answer.

The poll was conducted online from September 27 through October 2, meaning results were compiled before the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis was announced. Nationally, 1,000 individuals were polled, and of those, 947 were likely voters, whose responses are noted here.

In Florida, a separate sample of 500 individuals were polled, and responses of the 489 who said they were likely to vote are also included here.

Trump proved more popular among Florida likely voters than nationally, making for a more competitive race in the Sunshine State. Biden still shows more supporters, at 49.9 percent, compared to 43.9 percent preferring Trump. Another 4.9 percent say they were unsure. That makes the Florida results practically tied between the current president and former vice president.

Candidates U.S. Likely Voters

N = 947

FL Likely Voters

N = 489

Trump    38.3%   43.9%
Biden    52.1%   49.9%
Unsure    5.8%   4.9%


Things looked a bit different when likely voters were asked a hypothetical question—who their electoral choice would be if current Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris were competing for the top office, rather than Trump and Biden.

Pence and Harris will debate tonight, October 7, in Salt Lake City.

Harris, the U.S. senator from California, had a slight edge nationally, but the contest was even in Florida. The results show 48.3 percent of the national likely voter base prefer Harris, and 41.5 choose Pence. Another 10.1 percent were unsure. In Florida, the two were essentially even, with Pence favored by 46.8 percent and Harris by 46.7 percent, and 6.5 percent were unsure.

If VP candidates were running for president U.S. Likely Voters

N = 947


FL Likely Voters

N = 489


Pence 41.5% 46.8%
Harris 48.3% 46.7%
Unsure 10.1% 6.5%


About the Poll
Frank Orlando, Saint Leo University Polling Institute director, is available for comments.

METHODOLOGY: This national survey was conducted from September 27 through October 2, among a base of 1,000 respondents nationally, using an online instrument. The national sample has an associated margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent at a 95 percent confidence for questions asked of all 1,000 respondents.

The Saint Leo University Polling Institute conducts its surveys using cutting-edge online methodology, which is rapidly transforming the field of survey research. The sample is drawn from large online panels, which allow for random selections that reflect accurate cross sections of all demographic groups. Online methodology has the additional advantage of allowing participants to respond to the survey at a time, place, and speed that is convenient to them, which may result in more thoughtful answers. The Saint Leo University Polling Institute develops the questionnaires, administers the surveys, and conducts analysis of the results. Panel participants typically receive a token incentive—usually $1 deposited into an iTunes or Amazon account—for their participation.

The Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey results about national and Florida politics, public policy issues, Pope Francis’ popularity, and other topics, can also be found here: You can also follow the institute on Twitter @saintleopolls.

Media contacts:
Jo-Ann Johnston, Saint Leo University, University Communications or (352) 467-0843 (cell/text).

Mary McCoy, Saint Leo University, University Writer & Media Relations,, (352) 588-7118 or cell (813) 610-8416.

About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, offering nearly 60 undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs to more than 19,500 students each year. Founded in 1889 by Benedictine monks, the private, nonprofit university is known for providing a values-based education to learners of all backgrounds and ages in the liberal arts tradition. Saint Leo is regionally accredited and offers a residential campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, 15 education centers in five states, and an online program for students anywhere. The university is home to more than 95,000 alumni. Learn more at .