Trump Support Confined; Minority Voters Will Cast Ballots Against Him

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has a 14-point polling lead over GOP candidate Donald Trump among Florida’s likely voters, according to a new survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (

The survey was conducted online from August 14 to 18 among 1,500 Florida adults, including 1,380 who said they will likely vote in the November election. When asked which presidential candidate they would support, or would lean toward supporting, if the election was the same day that they took the survey, respondents answered in these proportions:

            Candidate Combined percent of supporters and those leaning toward support
Democrat Hillary Clinton 51.7% (decided supporters = 48.3%)
Republican Donald Trump 37.7 % (decided supporters = 33.8%)
Libertarian Gary Johnson 8.3 % (decided supporters = 6.4%)
Green Party candidate Jill Stein 2.4 % (decided supporters = 1.6%)


The margin of error for the findings is plus or minus 3 percentage points, meaning the results could be off by that much in either direction. If Clinton’s actual base of supporters turned out to be 3 points lower, and Trump’s were 3 points higher, the Democrat would still have the edge by 8 points.

Saint Leo University Polling Institute Director Frank Orlando said the results show that Clinton’s lead appears “very secure” in Florida. “She was winning by 14 points in Florida in our June poll, and she’s still winning by that margin after the conventions. The opportunities for Donald Trump to make up that distance are shrinking,” observed Orlando, who also teaches political science at Saint Leo University. “Absent an unprecedented movement toward Trump as a result of the debates, or more likely, an external shock to the system, she can safely put Florida in her column,” Orlando said.

Orlando delved further into the characteristics of poll respondents, and took note of the way various groups of Florida likely voters intend to vote or are leaning toward voting. He found Trump losing to Clinton in most demographics in the Sunshine State, and even among men, who are believed by many observers to be a major part of the Trump’s base. The two candidates both poll in the 40s among men, but Clinton is ahead by about a point at 45.3 percent versus 44.5. Also:

  • Women favor Clinton by an almost 2-to-1 margin, with Clinton preferred by 58.3 percent of respondents compared to 30.6 percent for Trump.
  • Trump is appealing to only 23 percent of the Hispanics in the survey; 70 percent support Clinton.
  • African-American support for Clinton is more than 90 percent.
  • Trump attracted more support than Clinton among white voters, at 50.6 percent to 36.9 percent for Clinton; still, Orlando predicted that the margin is not large enough to offset Trump’s “massive deficit among minorities.”
  • Age and party demographics are showing fault lines. Trump is winning voters age 65 and older, with support of 51.8 percent compared to 39.6 percent for Clinton. But Trump polled only 23 percent among voters younger than 35. Younger voters are apt to have perceptions of political parties shaped by experiences of their youth, according to Orlando, making this development worth watching. On a related note, he said, “Donald Trump is having trouble keeping Republicans loyal to the top of the ticket,” with only 74 percent of Republican respondents showing support. By contrast, Clinton attracted the support of 90 percent of the respondents who are Democrats.

Orlando observed that likely voters are settling into their choices, but are not necessarily fond of the candidates as people. Less than half—46.3 percent—of voters view Hillary Clinton somewhat or very favorably, and Donald Trump’s favorability ratings are at 35.1 percent. That is little changed since a June Saint Leo poll, Orlando said. Respondents were also asked to rate the favorability of the vice presidential nominees, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R), and both were around 35 percent. “The VP candidates seem to be making little impact overall,” Orlando said, “and that was to be expected. It is very rare for a VP pick to have a big impact nationwide, as their effect is localized, if anything.”

Media contacts: Jo-Ann Johnston, Saint Leo University, University Communications by email at or (352) 588-8237 or (352) 467-0843 (cell/text) or Mary McCoy, Saint Leo University, University Communications or (352) 588-7118 or (813) 610-8416 (cell/text)

More About Our Research

METHODOLOGY: All surveys were conducted using an online survey instrument from August 14 to August 18, 2016. This special statewide poll of 1,500 Florida adults includes 1,380 likely voters. In both cases the poll has a plus or minus margin of error of 3.0 percent.

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 be found here: You can also follow the institute on Twitter @saintleopolls.

More About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University ( is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever our students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. We welcome people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourage learners of all generations. We are committed to providing educational opportunities to our nation’s armed forces, our veterans, and their families. We are regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and we guide all our students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

We remain the faithful stewards of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where our founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving nearly 16,000 students, we have expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintain a physical presence in seven states. We provide highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 82,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.