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Poll: Trump, Biden neck-and-neck in Florida

A new poll has President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden running neck-and-neck in the battleground state of Florida.

According to a new NBC News/Marist poll, Trump and Biden both have the support of 48 % of likely voters.

Among all registered voters, Trump edges Biden by 48% to 47%, the poll said.

Trump leads on the question of which candidate would better handle the economy, while Biden has the advantage on the coronavirus and race relations, NBC News reported.

Trump won Florida, which has 29 electoral votes, by a bit more than a percentage point four years ago.

“If Trump loses Florida, it’s game over. If Trump wins, the story of the night will still have to be told,” given other battleground states, said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

The poll of 766 likely voters, conducted by cellphone and landline interviews from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, has a margin of error of plus-minus 4.5 percentage points.

Also Tuesday, Trump sought to claim the mantle of environmental steward as he announced expansion of a ban on offshore drilling and highlighted conservation projects in Florida.

But his administration has overturned or weakened numerous regulations meant to protect air and water quality and lands essential for imperiled species.

Trump announced he was extending and expanding a ban on new offshore drilling sites off the Florida coast as well as Georgia and South Carolina, The Associated Press reported.

The existing moratorium covers the Gulf of Mexico, and Trump said the new one would also cover the Atlantic coast — a significant political concern in coastal states like Florida.

“My administration’s proving everyday that we can improve our environment while creating millions of high-paying jobs,” Trump said.

“This protects your beautiful gulf and your beautiful ocean, and it will for a long time to come,” Trump told an audience of about 200 people in Jupiter, Fla. Few wore face coverings or practiced social distancing.

Trump has rolled back numerous regulations meant to protect the environment, from power plant emissions to auto fuel standards to clean water.

He withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, a global agreement to address the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

Environmental groups and former EPA chiefs from both parties have criticized Trump’s environmental record.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, defended it last week in a speech commemorating the agency’s 50th anniversary. He contended Trump had reined in an agency that had lost sight of its core mission.

A second term would bring more cleanups of Superfund toxic waste dumps and restoration of polluted industrial sites, which drew renewed emphasis during Trump’s first term, Wheeler said.

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