Bloomberg leads in Florida: Pollby Anthony Leonardi
Michael Bloomberg took the lead in a new Florida Democratic primary poll, showing positive results for the former New York City mayor's expensive campaign strategy.
A St. Pete Polls survey, conducted from Feb.12-13, shows Bloomberg at 27% and former Vice President Joe Biden at 26%. Support for the Biden campaign dropped 15% since last month, while Bloomberg saw an increase of approximately 10%.
One of Biden's central arguments has been electability, arguing that he had the best chance to defeat President Trump in 2020. Biden has since contradicted himself, saying on MSNBC's Morning Joe that the Democratic Party could "run Mickey Mouse against this president and have a shot."
The results of the poll came from 3,047 likely voters in the Democratic primary. Approximately 29% of respondents were black and 14% were Hispanic. Biden holds a commanding lead among black voters, earning 41%. But Bloomberg holds a lead among Hispanic voters, garnering 35% support. The survey has a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points and a 95% confidence level.
Bloomberg's spike in Florida, most notably among minority voters, follows recent unearthing of his controversial 2015 comments on New York City's stop-and-frisk policing policy. Bloomberg apologized for the policy in 2019 before entering the presidential race.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg are nearly tied for third, with Sanders earning 10.4% and Buttigieg earning 10.5%. More than 11% of voters remain undecided.
Bloomberg's success comes from his massive campaign war chest of $62 billion. Though he did not participate in the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary, he has steadily poured money into television ads.
Part of his success also comes from his campaign's attempts to use humor through viral social media strategy. Bloomberg, 77, tweeted a video in late January in which he declared his love for "Big Gay Ice Cream." The former mayor exclaimed, "Mmmh, Big Gay Ice Cream is the best!"
The Florida primary is set for March 17.