Joe Biden is heading for a blowout victory over Bernie Sanders in the critical battleground state of Florida on March 17, according to a new poll released Thursday.
The St. Pete Polls survey commissioned by Florida Politics was taken Wednesday – just as Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the race – but it showed that likely Sunshine State Democratic primary voters had already coalesced behind the former vice president.
Sixty-one percent of voters favored Biden compared to 14 percent for Bloomberg and 12 percent Sanders, the Vermont senator. Five percent supported Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Biden’s support skyrocketed in Florida after his victory in South Carolina and subsequent backing by two ex-rivals who dropped out of the race — former South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — as well as his strong showing on Super Tuesday.
The prior St. Pete Polls survey, released Feb. 27, had Biden with 34 percent, Bloomberg at 25 percent, Sanders at 13 percent and Warren at four percent.
The latest results showed support for Biden jumped an eye-popping 27% percent in a week’s time.
More than 28 percent of Floridians already cast their ballots through early voting.
But Biden still had a sizable lead among the mail-in balloters with 53 percent backing to 20 percent for Bloomberg and 11 percent for Sanders.
The blowout findings spell trouble for Sanders.
Biden romped over Sanders in every demographic category in all parts of the state, including among young voters.
Biden had the support of 68 percent of black voters, 60 percent of Hispanic voters and 69 percent of Asian voters.
Sanders praise of Fidel Castro and Cuba and his association with the Marxist Sandinistas does him no favors in Florida, with a sizable population of Cuban and Venezuelan refugees and an influx of Puerto Ricans.
Sanders has a huge following among young voters aged 18 to 29 nationally – but not in Florida, where he garners only 14 percent support.
“Folks …Barring a seismic event, this race is pretty much over,” tweeted Dave Wasserman, US editor of the Cook Report.
The candidates compete for 219 delegates in Florida.
The poll queried 1,882 likely Democratic voters and has a 2.3 percentage point margin of error.
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